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

Activation of estrogen receptor transfected into a receptor-negative breast cancer cell line decreases the metastatic and invasive potential of the cells.

Breast cancers containing estrogen receptors are responsive to antiestrogen treatment and have a better prognosis than estrogen receptor-negative tumors. The loss of estrogen and progesterone receptors appears to be associated with a progression to less-differentiated tumors. We transfected the human estrogen receptor into the estrogen receptor-negative metastatic breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231 in an attempt to restore their sensitivity to antiestrogens. Two stable sublines of MDA-MB-231 cells ( HC1 and HE5) expressing functional estrogen receptors were studied for their ability to grow and invade in vitro and to metastasize in athymic nude mice. The number and size of lung metastases developed by these two sublines in ovariectomized nude mice was not markedly altered by tamoxifen but was inhibited 3-fold by estradiol. Estradiol also significantly inhibited in vitro cell proliferation of these sublines and their invasiveness in Matrigel, a reconstituted basement membrane, whereas the antiestrogens 4-hydroxytamoxifen and ICI 164,384 reversed these effects. These results show that estradiol inhibits the metastatic ability of estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer cells following transfection with the estrogen receptor, whereas estrogen receptor-positive breast cancers are stimulated by estrogen, indicating that factors other than the estrogen receptor are involved in progression toward hormone independence. Reactivation or transfer of the estrogen receptor gene can therefore be considered as therapeutic approaches to hormone-independent cancers.[1]


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