Crosstalk with insulin and dependence on PI3K/Akt/mTOR rather than MAPK pathways in upregulation of basal growth following long-term oestrogen deprivation in three human breast cancer cell lines
Ray, S. and Darbre, P. (2011) Crosstalk with insulin and dependence on PI3K/Akt/mTOR rather than MAPK pathways in upregulation of basal growth following long-term oestrogen deprivation in three human breast cancer cell lines. Hormone Molecular Biology and Clinical Investigation, 5 (2). pp. 53-65. ISSN 1868-1883
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1515/HMBCI.2010.072
Background: MCF-7, T-47-D, ZR-75-1 human breast cancer cell lines are dependent on oestrogen for growth but can adapt to grow during long-term oestrogen deprivation. This serves as a model for identification of therapeutic targets in endocrine-resistant breast cancer. Methods: An overlooked complication of this model is that it involves more than non-addition of oestrogen, and inadequate attention has been given to separating molecular events associated with each of the culture manipulations. Results: Insulin and oestradiol were shown to protect MCF-7 cells against upregulation of basal growth, demonstrating a crosstalk in the growth adaptation process. Increased phosphorylation of p44/42MAPK and c-Raf reflected removal of insulin from the medium and proliferation of all three cell lines was inhibited to a lesser extent by PD98059 and U0126 following long-term oestrogen/insulin withdrawal, demonstrating a reduced dependence on the MAPK pathway. By contrast, long-term oestrogen/insulin deprivation did not alter levels of phosphorylated Akt and did not alter the dose-response of growth inhibition with LY294002 in any of the three cell lines. The IGF1R inhibitor picropodophyllin inhibited growth of all MCF-7 cells but only in the long-term oestrogen/insulin-deprived cells was this paralleled by reduction in phosphorylated p70S6K, a downstream target of mTOR. Long-term oestrogen/insulin-deprived MCF-7 cells had higher levels of phosphorylated p70S6K and developed increased sensitivity to growth inhibition by rapamycin. Conclusions: The greater sensitivity to growth inhibition by rapamycin in all three cell lines following long-term oestrogen/insulin deprivation suggests rapamycin-based therapies might be more effective in breast cancers with acquired oestrogen resistance. Keywords Akt, breast cancer cells, endocrine resistance, insulin, MAPK, MCF-7 cells, mTOR, oestrogen, oestrogen-deprived, PI3K, picropodophyllin, rapamycin, T-47-D cells, ZR-75-1 cells