Estrogen-independent effects of ER-α36 in ER-negative breast cancer

Jing Zhang, Guangliang Li, Zhongqi Li, Xiongfei Yu, Yi Zheng, Ketao Jin, Haohao Wang, Yun Gong, Xiaoping Sun, Xiaodong Teng, Jiang Cao, Lisong Teng
Steroids 2012, 77 (6): 666-73
Estrogen receptor-alpha 36 (ER-α36) is a variant of ER-α that has been found to be expressed in conventional ER (ER-α66)-negative breast cancer cell lines and human breast cancer samples. In this study, we found that, using immunohistochemical study, ER-α36 expression was significantly higher in ER-negative tumors than in ER-positive tumors although the expression was not associated with other clinicopathological characteristics. We then constructed an ER-α36-specific microRNA hairpin vector and established stable ER-α36 knockdown cells, and found that the knockdown cells were more sensitive to paclitaxel; the c-Jun N-terminal kinase pathway appeared to be involved in the mechanism. Downregulation of ER-α36 also resulted in decreased migration and invasion. These changes were estrogen independent. Our findings indicated that target ER-α36 may be a strategy for treating ER-negative breast cancers.

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