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Molecular mechanisms of oestrogen action on growth of human breast cancer cells in culture

Darbre, P. (2012) Molecular mechanisms of oestrogen action on growth of human breast cancer cells in culture. Hormone Molecular Biology and Clinical Investigation, 9 (1). pp. 65-85. ISSN 1868-1883

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1515/hmbci-2011-0003


Growth responses to oestrogen can be reproducibly obtained using a selection of oestrogen-receptor-containing human breast cancer cell lines, and molecular mechanisms have been shown to include modulation to growth factor/receptor/signalling pathways, cell-cycle proteins, apoptosis, differentiation, adhesion, motility and migration. Considerable progress has been made in understanding the molecular basis of oestrogen action on gene expression through the ligand-activated transcription factors human oestrogen receptor α (ERα) and ERβ and the resulting effects on global gene expression patterns, but the full profile of coordination of the alterations, which brings about changes in cell growth through genomic and non-genomic mechanisms remain to be fully elucidated. Oestrogen regulation of cell growth involves a complex cross-talk between oestrogen receptor and growth factor signalling pathways such that inhibition of one pathway may lead to stimulation of another, which may explain the remarkable ability of human breast cancer cells to escape from any mode of imposed growth inhibition be it oestrogen deprivation or administration of antioestrogen. Although studies on cell growth have focused to date on the effects of physiological oestrogens, many hundreds of environmental chemicals with oestrogenic properties have now been measured in the human breast. Whether or not the weight of evidence eventually establishes any causal link of complex mixtures of environmental oestrogenic chemicals with breast cancer, the presence of so many oestrogenic chemicals in the breast must influence resulting oestrogenic responses, and the impact of this additional oestrogenic burden needs to be taken into account in future studies on growth regulation of human breast cancer cells.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Biomedical Sciences
ID Code:28918

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