C.S.L. Lee

Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Darlinghurst, New South Wales, Australia

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Publications (6)32.24 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Progesterone regulates the proliferation and differentiation of normal mammary epithelium. In breast cancer cells, progesterone and its synthetic analogs, progestins, induce long-term growth inhibition and differentiation. However, the mechanisms responsible are not fully understood. When T-47D breast cancer cells were treated with the synthetic progestin ORG 2058 (16alpha-ethoxy-21-hydroxy-19-norpregn-4-en-3,20-dione), all isoforms of Wilms' tumor protein 1 (Wt1) mRNA and protein were rapidly downregulated. We reasoned that the decrease in Wt1 levels may contribute to the long-term antiproliferative and differentiative effects of progestins as proliferation and differentiation are known end points of Wt1 action. Consistent with this idea, Wt1 small interfering RNA led to a decrease in S phase and cyclin D1 levels, and increased Oil-Red-O staining, indicating increased lipogenesis. Conversely, overexpression of Wt1 attenuated the decrease in S phase induced by ORG 2058 at 48-96 h. This was accompanied by the sustained expression of cyclin D1 despite progestin treatment, and increased levels of retinoblastoma (Rb) phosphorylation at sites targeted by cyclin D1-Cdk4 (Ser249/Thr252). Wt1 overexpression also attenuated the ORG 2058-mediated increase in fatty acid synthase levels and reduced lipogenesis. Thus, Wt1 downregulation was sufficient to mimic the effects of progestin and was necessary for complete progestin-mediated proliferative arrest and subsequent differentiation. Furthermore, Wt1 overexpression modulated the effects of progestins but not anti-estrogens or androgens. These results indicate that Wt1 is an important early target of progestins that regulates both proliferation and differentiation in breast cancer cells.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2008 · Oncogene
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    ABSTRACT: Long-term growth inhibition, arrest in G1 phase and reduced activity of both cyclin D1-Cdk4 and cyclin E-Cdk2 are elicited by progestin treatment of breast cancer cells in culture. Decreased cyclin expression, induction of p18INK4c and increased association of the CDK inhibitors p21WAF1/Cip1 and p27Kip1 with cyclin E-Cdk2 have been implicated in these responses. To determine the role of decreased cyclin expression, T-47D human breast cancer cells constitutively expressing cyclin D1 or cyclin E were treated with the progestin ORG 2058. Overexpression of cyclin E had only a modest effect on growth inhibition. Although cyclin E expression was maintained during progestin treatment, cyclin E-Cdk2 activity decreased by ∼60%. This was accompanied by p27Kip1 association with cyclin E-Cdk2, indicating that both cyclin E down-regulation and p27Kip1 recruitment contribute to the decrease in activity. In contrast, overexpression of cyclin D1 induced progestin resistance and cell proliferation continued despite decreased cyclin E-Cdk2 activity. Progestin treatment of cyclin D1-overexpressing cells was associated with increased p27Kip1 association with cyclin E-Cdk2. Thus the ability of cyclin D1 to confer progestin resistance does not depend on sequestration of p27Kip1 away from cyclin E-Cdk2, providing evidence for a critical function of cyclin D1 other than as a high-capacity “sink” for p27Kip1. These data indicate that regulation of cyclin D1 is a critical element of progestin inhibition in breast cancer cells and suggest that breast cancers overexpressing cyclin D1 may respond poorly to progestin therapy.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2002 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: Cyclins and proto-oncogenes including c-myc have been implicated in eukaryotic cell cycle control. The role of cyclins in steroidal regulation of cell proliferation is unknown, but a role for c-myc has been suggested. This study investigated the relationship between regulation of T-47D breast cancer cell cycle progression, particularly by steroids and their antagonists, and changes in the levels of expression of these genes. Sequential induction of cyclins D1 (early G1 phase), D3, E, A (late G1-early S phase), and B1 (G2 phase) was observed following insulin stimulation of cell cycle progression in serum-free medium. Transient acceleration of G1-phase cells by progestin was also accompanied by rapid induction of cyclin D1, apparent within 2 h. This early induction of cyclin D1 and the ability of delayed administration of antiprogestin to antagonize progestin-induced increases in both cyclin D1 mRNA and the proportion of cells in S phase support a central role for cyclin D1 in mediating the mitogenic response in T-47D cells. Compatible with this hypothesis, antiestrogen treatment reduced the expression of cyclin D1 approximately 8 h before changes in cell cycle phase distribution accompanying growth inhibition. In the absence of progestin, antiprogestin treatment inhibited T-47D cell cycle progression but in contrast did not decrease cyclin D1 expression. Thus, changes in cyclin D1 gene expression are often, but not invariably, associated with changes in the rate of T-47D breast cancer cell cycle progression. However, both antiestrogen and antiprogestin depleted c-myc mRNA by > 80% within 2 h. These data suggest the involvement of both cyclin D1 and c-myc in the steroidal control of breast cancer cell cycle progression.
    Preview · Article · Jun 1993 · Molecular and Cellular Biology
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    A deFazio · Y E Chiew · C Donoghue · C. S. L. Lee · R L Sutherland
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    ABSTRACT: Estrogen receptor (ER) binding has been shown to decrease in breast cancer cell lines exposed to sodium butyrate; however, the underlying mechanisms are unknown. In MCF-7 breast cancer cells, butyrate caused a rapid time- and concentration-dependent decrease in ER mRNA levels, apparent by 3 h at 3 mM butyrate. ER gene transcription rate was decreased and cycloheximide co-treatment did not relieve this inhibitory effect, suggesting that the butyrate effect was not dependent on ongoing protein synthesis. In both MCF-7 and T-47D cells the decrease in ER mRNA was mirrored by an increase in the level of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGF-R) mRNA. A marked inverse relationship exists between ER and EGF-R in human breast cancer biopsies and cell lines, and the reciprocal modulation of these genes by butyrate suggests that the expression of ER and EGF-R may be co-regulated. This relationship was further investigated in lines expressing only one or the other receptor. In the ER-positive EGF-R-negative line, MDA-MB-134-VI, butyrate exposure decreased ER mRNA levels, implying that the regulation of ER mRNA by butyrate is independent of EGF-R expression. However, butyrate decreased EGF-R mRNA in two ER-negative lines, MDA-MB-231 and HBL-100. As this effect differed from that in ER-positive lines, the regulation of EGF-R may depend on the expression of ER. The possibility that ER and EGF-R gene expression are closely linked has implications in the understanding of progression of human breast cancers to a hormone-independent phenotype and for the use of ER and EGF-R levels as independent prognostic indicators.
    Preview · Article · Oct 1992 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    EA Musgrove · C.S.L. Lee · R L Sutherland
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    ABSTRACT: This study documents a biphasic change in the rate of cell cycle progression and proliferation of T-47D human breast cancer cells treated with synthetic progestins, consisting of an initial transient acceleration in transit through G1, followed by cell cycle arrest and growth inhibition. Both components of the response were mediated via the progesterone receptor. The data are consistent with a model in which the action of progestins is to accelerate cells already progressing through G1, which are then arrested early in G1 after completing a round of replication, as are cells initially in other phases of the cell cycle. Such acceleration implies that progestins act on genes or gene products which are rate limiting for cell cycle progression. Increased production of epidermal growth factor and transforming growth factor alpha, putative autocrine growth factors in breast cancer cells, does not appear to account for the initial response to progestins, since although the mRNA abundance for these growth factors is rapidly induced by progestins, cells treated with epidermal growth factor or transforming growth factor alpha did not enter S phase until 5 to 6 h later than those stimulated by progestin. The proto-oncogenes c-fos and c-myc were rapidly but transiently induced by progestin treatment, paralleling the well-known response of these genes to mitogenic signals in other cell types. The progestin antagonist RU 486 inhibited progestin regulation of both cell cycle progression and c-myc expression, suggesting that this proto-oncogene may participate in growth modulation by progestins.
    Preview · Article · Nov 1991 · Molecular and Cellular Biology
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    ABSTRACT: Human breast cancer cells secrete a number of autocrine peptides which modulate their proliferation rates. The known effects of steroid hormones on breast cancer cell proliferation may be mediated in part by altering the production of these growth factors and/or their interactions with cellular receptor sites. Receptors for epidermal growth factor (EGF), which also bind the autocrine growth factor, alpha-transforming growth factor, are present on a number of breast cancer cell lines and it has previously been shown that T-47D and MCF-7 cells respond to progestins with an increase in the concentration of EGF receptors (EGF-R). In the present study we examined the effects of both progestins and glucocorticoids on EGF binding in 10 human breast cell lines. Five of these lines were progesterone receptor positive and all lines expressed the glucocorticoid receptor (GR). All cell lines were initially incubated for 24 hr with increasing concentrations of the synthetic progestin, medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA), and the level of specifically bound EGF was determined. An increase in specific binding of EGF was confirmed in two PR-positive lines but, in addition, increases in EGF binding were observed in 4 PR-negative cell lines. In these last lines the synthetic glucocorticoid, dexamethasone, was a more potent inducer of EGF binding than MPA, a known glucocorticoid agonist, while the high-affinity PR ligand, ORG 2058, was without effect. Furthermore, MPA competed with dexamethasone for binding to GR in these cell lines, supporting the view that the induction of EGF binding by MPA in these cells was mediated via the GR. This conclusion was further supported by studies in which addition of the glucocorticoid and progestin antagonist, RU 486, inhibited the effect of ORG 2058 in two cell lines and completely abrogated the effect of dexamethasone in two other lines. Detailed binding studies revealed that the increase in EGF binding was accompanied by an increase in the concentration of EGF-R. This effect was observed when EGF binding was assayed at either 0 degree or 37 degrees C. Further studies demonstrated that the increases in EGF binding following ORG 2058 and dexamethasone treatment were accompanied by increases in EGF-R mRNA levels. Our data illustrate that the binding of EGF by some human breast cancer cells can be regulated by both progestins and glucocorticoids acting via their respective receptors and inducing increases in EGF-R mRNA levels.
    No preview · Article · Nov 1989 · International Journal of Cancer