Article

Expression of estrogen receptor beta in the breast carcinoma of BRCA1 mutation carriers

Clinic of Oncology, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poznan, Poland.
BMC Cancer (Impact Factor: 3.32). 02/2008; 8:100. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2407-8-100
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Background
Breast cancers (BC) in women carrying mutations in BRCA1 gene are more frequently estrogen receptor negative than the nonhereditary BC. Nevertheless, tamoxifen has been found to have a protective effect in preventing contralateral tumors in BRCA1 mutation carriers. The identification of the second human estrogen receptor, ERβ, raised a question of its role in hereditary breast cancer. The aim of this study was to assess the frequency of ERα, ERβ, PgR (progesterone receptor) and HER-2 expression in breast cancer patients with mutated BRCA1 gene and in the control group.

Methods
The study group consisted of 48 women with BRCA1 gene mutations confirmed by multiplex PCR assay. The patients were tested for three most common mutations of BRCA1 affecting the Polish population (5382insC, C61G, 4153delA). Immunostaining for ERα, ERβ and PgR (progesterone receptor) was performed using monoclonal antibodies against ERα, PgR (DakoCytomation), and polyclonal antibody against ERβ (Chemicon). The EnVision detection system was applied. The study population comprised a control group of 120 BC operated successively during the years 1998–99.

Results
The results of our investigation showed that BRCA1 mutation carriers were more likely to have ERα-negative breast cancer than those in the control group. Only 14.5% of BRCA1-related cancers were ERα-positive compared with 57.5% in the control group (P < 0.0001). On the contrary, the expression of ERβ protein was observed in 42% of BRCA1-related tumors and in 55% of the control group. An interesting finding was that most hereditary cancers (75% of the whole group) were triple-negative: ERα(-)/PgR(-)/HER-2(-) but almost half of this group (44.4%) showed the expression of ERβ.

Conclusion
In the case of BRCA1-associated tumors the expression of ERβ was significantly higher than the expression of ERα. This may explain the effectiveness of tamoxifen in preventing contralateral breast cancer development in BRCA1 mutation carriers.

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Available from: Krzysztof Roznowski, Jun 27, 2015
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Présentement, les études ont principalement considérées le rôle de ERα, cependant avec la découverte de ERβ, notre compréhension de la diversité des mécanismes potentiels impliquant des réponses ER-dépendantes s’est améliorée. L’activation des voies des kinases par les facteurs de croissance entraîne le développement d’un phénotype tumoral résistant aux traitements actuels. Nos connaissances des voies impliquées dans l’activation de ER sont restreintes. ERα est considéré comme le sous-type dominant et corrèle avec la plupart des facteurs de pronostic dans le cancer du sein. Le rôle de ERβ reste imprécis. Les résultats présentés dans cette thèse ont pour objectif de mieux comprendre l’implication de ERβ dans la prolifération cellulaire par l’étude du comportement de ERβ et ERα suite à l’activation des voies de signalisation par les facteurs de croissance. 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Malgré le fait que l’activation de la voie PI3K/Akt corrèle avec une diminution de l’expression des gènes sous le contrôle de ERβ, on observe une augmentation de la prolifération des cellules cancéreuses. L’inhibition de la dégradation de ERβ réduit cette prolifération excessive causée par le traitement avec Hrgβ1, un ligand de ErbB3. Un nombre croissant d’évidences indique que les voies de signalisations des facteurs de croissance peuvent sélectivement réguler l’activité transcriptionnelle de sous-types de ER. De plus, le ratio ERα/ERβ dans les cancers du sein devient un outil de diagnostique populaire afin de déterminer la sévérité d’une tumeur. En conclusion, la caractérisation moléculaire du couplage entre la signalisation des facteurs de croissance et la fonction des ERs permettra le développement de nouveaux traitements afin de limiter l’apparition de cellules tumorales résistantes aux thérapies endocriniennes actuelles. It has long been appreciated that estrogenic signaling plays a critical role in the development of hormone-dependent cancers such as breast cancer. Two-thirds of breast cancers express estrogen receptor (ER) which has been demonstrated to play an irrefutable role in tumour development and progression. However the acquisition of endocrine resistance has become a major obstacle in the treatment of hormone-dependent cancers that have acquired a hormone-independent state. Hormone-independent cancers emerge from an array of pathways involving ER activation in the absence of estrogen, hypersensitivity of ER to low serum levels of estrogen and activation by estrogen antagonists. The activity of ER is critically influenced by the cellular environment such as growth factor signaling pathways, availability of coregulatory proteins and the promoter sequence of target genes. The mechanisms studied have mostly considered the role of ERα, however with the discovery of the second subtype, ERβ, the understanding on the diversity of potential mechanisms involving ER-dependent responses have improved. Hormonal-independent activation of ER can occur in estrogen-dependent breast tumours, with concomitant rise in kinase signaling pathways, resulting in the acquisition of a therapeutic resistant phenotype in treated women. Our knowledge is relatively limited on which pathways trigger ER signaling and how these phosphorylation-coupled events affect ER activity. ERα is considered the dominant subtype and correlates with most of the prognostic factors in breast cancers. Conversely the role of ERβ remains unclear. 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