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

Effects of several dioxin-like compounds on estrogen metabolism in the malignant MCF-7 and nontumorigenic MCF-10A human mammary epithelial cell lines.

In human breast tissue, estrone (E(1)) and estradiol (E(2)) are mainly hydroxylated by cytochrome P450 1A1 (CYP1A1) and 1B1 (CYP1B1) to 2-hydroxyestrogens (2-OHE(1/2)) and 4-hydroxyestrogens (4-OHE(1/2)), respectively. Several studies show that 4-OHE(1/2), but not 2-OHE(1/2), may act as a carcinogen and a high estrogen 4-/2-hydroxylation ratio appears to be a marker for the presence of neoplasms. In this study, we investigated the effects of several dioxin-like compounds on estrogen 2- and 4-hydroxylation in a malignant (MCF-7) and a nontumorigenic (MCF-10A) human mammary epithelial cell line. 2- and 4-methoxyestrogen (MeOE(1/2)) formations were used as measures of the 2- and 4-hydroxylation pathways, respectively. 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), 2,3,4,7,8-pentachlorodibenzofuran (PCDF), 3,3',4,4',5-pentachlorobiphenyl ( PCB 126), and 3,3'4,4',5,5'-hexachlorobiphenyl (PCB 169) concentration dependently induced 2-MeOE(1/2) formation and ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylation (EROD) activity through induced CYP1A1 expression in MCF-7 and MCF-10A cells. 2,3',4,4',5-pentachlorobiphenyl ( PCB 118) had no such effect. Effects on CYP1B1 expression and 4-MeOE(1/2) formation were less pronounced; only TCDD caused an induction, whereas PCB 169 was a potent and selective inhibitor of 4-MeOE(1/2) formation (IC(50) 0.7 and 2.2 nM PCB 169 in MCF-7 and MCF-10A cells, respectively). MCF-10A cells were less responsive toward dioxin-like compounds and the apparent EC(50) values for CYP1A1 and CYP1B1 induction in this study were 10-100 fold higher than in MCF-7 cells. The constitutive 4-/2-MeOE(1/2) ratios were 2.99 +/- 0.78 and 0.93 +/- 0.40 in MCF-7 and MCF-10A, respectively. Incubation with dioxin-like compounds resulted in a concentration-dependent decrease in the 4-/2-MeOE(1/2) ratio, but an increase in potentially carcinogenic estrogen metabolites in both MCF-7 and MCF-10A cells. This indicates that even though the 4-/2-OHE(1/2) ratio may be used as indicator for the presence of neoplasms, it is readily lowered by dioxin-like compounds and its value as a prognostic parameter for cancer risk should be further examined.[1]


  1. Effects of several dioxin-like compounds on estrogen metabolism in the malignant MCF-7 and nontumorigenic MCF-10A human mammary epithelial cell lines. van Duursen, M.B., Sanderson, J.T., van der Bruggen, M., van der Linden, J., van den Berg, M. Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol. (2003) [Pubmed]
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