Identification and characterization of a phytoestrogen-specific gene from the MCF-7 human breast cancer cell

Lakshmi Ramanathan, Wesley G Gray
Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 2003 September 1, 191 (2): 107-17
Phytoestrogens are a group of compounds present in human diet that display estrogenic-like properties. Several studies have demonstrated that populations who consume large quantities of phytoestrogens have a reduced risk of estrogen-dependent cancers. Although it has been shown that certain phytoestrogens modulate estrogen action, their biological role in cancer reduction remains unclear. Through the use of differential display reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and representational difference analysis of cDNA, we have identified several phytoestrogen-responsive genes from the human breast cancer cell MCF-7. Two of these genes, PE-13.1 and pRDA-D, have been characterized in greater detail in this study. These genes were not previously known to be regulated by phytoestrogen or estradiol. PE-13.1 is a novel gene that specifies the coding of a 1.10-kb mRNA transcript. Northern blot analysis confirmed that the PE-13.1 transcript is up-regulated by phytoestrogens (Genistein, sevenfold; Zearalenone, twofold) and is nonresponsive to estradiol. Conversely, the pRDA-D transcript was down-regulated by both phytoestrogens and estradiol. The antiestrogen ICI-182,780 inhibits the expression of PE-13.1 and reverses the inhibition of pRDA-D expression induced by phytoestrogens and estradiol. Analysis of the tissue distribution of PE-13.1 transcript by RNA blot reveals that this transcript is expressed in both normal and tumor tissues. This report demonstrates for the first time the presence of two phytoestrogen-responsive genes that may be used as molecular markers in understanding the role dietary estrogen plays in cancer prevention.


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