Different estrogen receptor structural domains are required for estrogen- and tamoxifen-dependent anti-proliferative activity in human mammary epithelial cells expressing an exogenous estrogen receptor
Zajchowski, D.A.; Webster, L.; Humm, R.; White, F.A.; Simmons, S.J.; Bartholdi, M.
Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 62(5-6): 373-383
ISSN/ISBN: 0960-0760 PMID: 9449240 DOI: 10.1016/s0960-0760(97)00052-6
Estrogen (E) inhibits the growth of both non-tumorigenic, immortal human mammary epithelial cells (HMEC) and breast cancer cells which stably express exogenous estrogen receptors (ER). The anti-estrogenic compounds 4-hydroxy-tamoxifen (HT) and ICI 164384 (ICI) have different effects on the growth of the ER-transfectants. HT is a potent growth inhibitor, while ICI has no effect by itself but is able to block the anti-proliferative effects of E and HT. In order to elucidate the mechanism by which E or HT-bound ER inhibit cell growth, we have evaluated the effects of these compounds on the growth of HMEC stably expressing ER with mutations or deletions in the N-terminal A/B domain, the DNA-binding domain (DBD), and the C-terminal ligand-binding domain. These studies revealed that E and HT require different structural domains of the ER for their anti-proliferative activities. The N-terminal A/B domain is required for HT-, but not E-dependent growth inhibition. The DNA-binding domain of the ER is not essential for HT-mediated anti-proliferative effects, but is important for E-dependent activity. The effect of ER mutations on the ligand-inducible expression of the endogenous progesterone receptor (PR) and pS2 genes was also evaluated. Neither gene was induced in the cells containing the ER mutated in the DBD, even though cell growth was inhibited. These results suggest that E and HT use different pathways to elicit their anti-proliferative effects and that this occurs via modulation of genes that are controlled by mechanisms different from those important for activation of the PR and pS2 genes.