Effect of estrogen and antiestrogens on cell proliferation and synthesis of secreted proteins in the human breast cancer cell line MCF-7 and a tamoxifen resistant variant subline, AL-1

Lykkesfeldt, A.E.; Sørensen, E.K.

Acta Oncologica 31(2): 131-138


ISSN/ISBN: 0284-186X
PMID: 1622627
DOI: 10.3109/02841869209088892
Accession: 039919255

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The human breast cancer cell line MCF-7 contains estrogen receptors and responds to estrogens with an increase in growth rate and to antiestrogens with a decrease in growth rate. Estrogen stimulation of cell proliferation is concomitant with an increase in the synthesis and secretion of three proteins with mol. wt 52 kDa, 61 kDa and 66 kDa and a decrease in the synthesis and secretion of a 42 kDa protein. The antiestrogen ICI 164,384 has a complete estrogen antagonistic effect on the synthesis of these secreted proteins, whereas the antiestrogen tamoxifen has an agonistic effect on the synthesis and secretion of the 52 kDa protein. We believe that the above mentioned estrogen regulated secreted proteins are either directly or indirectly involved in control of cell proliferation, and the less pronounced inhibitory effect of tamoxifen on cell proliferation compared to ICI 164,384 may be due to agonistic effects of tamoxifen. A tamoxifen resistant variant of the MCF-7 cell line, the AL-1 subline, can be growth inhibited by ICI 164,384, although a higher concentration is needed to inhibit the AL-1 cells compared to the parent MCF-7 cells. Tamoxifen has no effect on secreted proteins from the AL-1 cells, whereas ICI 164,384 has a complete estrogen antagonistic effect on secreted proteins, indicating that the mechanisms by which estrogens and antiestrogens influence cell proliferation may be via up and down regulation of secreted proteins with growth regulatory functions.