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01 June 2017 : Laboratory Research  

Estrogen Receptor Mediates the Radiosensitivity of Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Cells

Xingxing Chen12ABCDEFG, Ningyi Ma13BCEF, Zhirui Zhou12CDEF, Ziliang Wang4BCF, Qunchao Hu12DE, Jurui Luo12CE, Xin Mei12DF, Zhaozhi Yang12DE, Li Zhang12EF, Xiaofang Wang12DF, Yan Feng12ADE, Xiaoli Yu12AEG, Jinli Ma12AEF, Xiaomao Guo15AEG

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.904810

Med Sci Monit 2017; 23:2674-2683


BACKGROUND: This study aimed to evaluate differences in the radiosensitivities of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) and luminal-type breast cancer cells and to investigate the effects of estrogen receptor (ER) expression on the biological behaviors of the cells.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Colony-forming assays were performed to detect differences in radiosensitivities in breast cancer cell lines. Gene transfection technology was used to introduce the expression of ERα in TNBC cells to compare the difference in radiosensitivity between the TNBC cells and ERα transfected cells. CCK-8 assays were used to observe changes in the proliferation of TNBC cells after ERα transfection. Immunofluorescence was used to detect the number of γH2AX foci in nuclei. Flow cytometry was used to detect changes in cell cycle distribution and apoptosis. Western blotting was used to detect changes in autophagy-associated proteins.

RESULTS: The radioresistance of the TNBC cell line MDA-MB-231 (231 cells) was greater than that of ERα-positive luminal-type breast cancer cell line MCF-7. Moreover, 231 cell proliferation and radioresistance decreased after ERα transfection. Interestingly, ERα-transfected 231 cells showed increased double-stranded breaks and delayed repair compared with 231 cells, and ERα-transfected 231 cells showed increased G2/M phase arrest and apoptosis after irradiation compared with those in 231 cells. ERα transfection in 231 cells reduced autophagy-related protein expression, suggesting that autophagy activity decreased in 231 ER-positive cells after irradiation.

CONCLUSIONS: TNBC cells were more resistant to radiation than luminal-type breast cancer cells. ERα expression may have major roles in modulating breast cancer cell radiosensitivity.

Keywords: Estrogen Receptor alpha, Radiation, Triple Negative Breast Neoplasms


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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research eISSN: 2325-4416
Medical Science Monitor Basic Research eISSN: 2325-4416