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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Induction of antiproliferation and apoptosis in estrogen receptor negative MDA-231 human breast cancer cells by mifepristone and 4-hydroxytamoxifen combination therapy: a role for TGFbeta1.

Mifepristone (MIF) is an antiprogestin with potent anti-glucocorticoid and anti-androgen activity. MIF also appears to have anti-tumor activity independent of its ability to bind to nuclear receptors. In this study, we tested the ability of MIF to inhibit the growth of ER and PR negative breast cancer cells. In addition, because high-dose anti-estrogen treatment has been shown to inhibit ER and PR negative breast cancer cells, we compared the anti-proliferative activity of MIF to that of the anti-estrogen 4-hydroxytamoxifen ( TAM) or combination hormonal therapy (MIF + TAM). MIF and TAM therapy induced a significant time- and dose-dependent growth inhibition and, ultimately, induced cell death in MDA-231 cells as evidenced by increased DNA fragmentation, cytochrome c release from the mitochondria, and the activation of caspase-3. The anti-proliferative activity of TAM plus MIF combination treatment was at least additive as compared to either monotherapy. The earliest indicator of TAM and MIF cytostatic and cytotoxic action on MDA-231 cells was a significant (p<0.05) induction of TGFbeta1 secretion into the growth medium within 4 h of treatment. Secreted TGFbeta1 levels at 24 and 48 h were significantly higher in the TAM plus MIF treatment group as compared to cells treated with TAM or MIF alone. TGFbeta1 neutralizing antibody or addition of mannose-6-phosphate (M6P), a reagent also used to inhibit TGFbeta1, significantly attenuated the TAM and/or MIF-induced cell growth inhibition and cell death. In summary, our results indicate that MIF used in combination with TAM can effectively kill estrogen-insensitive human breast cancer cells. Our study further implies that agents that effectively increase TGFbeta1 levels in ER negative breast cancer cells may be one treatment approach for hormone-independent breast cancers.[1]


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