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

Sulindac sulfide and exisulind inhibit expression of the estrogen and progesterone receptors in human breast cancer cells.

In previous studies, we found that sulindac sulfide and exisulind (sulindac sulfone, Aptosyn) cause growth inhibition, arrest cells in the G1 phase of the cell cycle, and induce apoptosis in human breast cancer cell lines. These effects were associated with decreased expression of cyclin D1. The present study focuses on the effects of sulindac sulfide and exisulind on hormone signaling components in breast cancer cells. We found that estrogen receptor (ER)-positive and progesterone receptor (PR)-positive T47D breast cancer cells were somewhat more sensitive to growth inhibition by sulindac sulfide or exisulind than ER-negative PR-negative MB-MDA-468 breast cancer cells. Further studies indicated that sulindac sulfide and exisulind caused marked down-regulation of expression of the ER and PR-A and PR-B in T47D cells. However, neither compound caused a major change in expression of the retinoic acid receptor alpha (RARalpha), RARbeta, or RARalpha in T47D cells. Sulindac sulfide and exisulind also caused a decrease in expression of the ER in estrogen-responsive MCF-7 breast cancer cells. Both compounds also markedly inhibited estrogen-stimulated activation of an estrogen-responsive promoter in transient transfection reporter assays. Treatment of T47D cells with specific protein kinase G (PKG) activators did not cause a decrease in ER or PR expression. Therefore, although sulindac sulfide and exisulind can cause activation of PKG, the inhibitory effects of these two compounds on ER and PR expression does not seem to be mediated by PKG. Our findings suggest that the growth inhibition by sulindac sulfide and exisulind in ER-positive and PR-positive human breast cancer cells may be mediated, in part, by inhibition of ER and PR signaling. Thus, these and related compounds may provide a novel approach to the prevention and treatment of human breast cancers, especially those that are ER positive.[1]


  1. Sulindac sulfide and exisulind inhibit expression of the estrogen and progesterone receptors in human breast cancer cells. Lim, J.T., Joe, A.K., Suzui, M., Shimizu, M., Masuda, M., Weinstein, I.B. Clin. Cancer Res. (2006) [Pubmed]
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