δEF1 Down-Regulates ER-α Expression and Confers Tamoxifen Resistance in Breast Cancer

Shaocong Guo; Yaqing Li; Qi Tong; Feng Gu; Tianhui Zhu; Li Fu; Shuang Yang
December 2012
PLoS ONE;Dec2012, Vol. 7 Issue 12, p1
Academic Journal
Resistance to tamoxifen therapy represents a major barrier to the successful treatment of breast cancer, where a loss of or reduced ER-α level is considered a primary mechanism. Understanding how ER-α expression is regulated would provide insights into new intervention points to overcome tamoxifen resistance. In this study, we report that the expression of δEF1 is up-regulated by 17β-estradiol (E2) in MCF-7 cells in an ER-α-dependent manner, through either PI3K or NF-κB pathway. Ectopic expression of δEF1 in turn repressed ER-α transcription by binding to the E2-box on the ER-α promoter. At the tissue level of breast cancer, there is a strong and inverse correlation between the expression levels of δEF1 and ER-α. In MCF-7 cells, an elevated expression of δEF1 made the cells less sensitive to tamoxifen treatment, whereas overexpression of ER-α compromised the effects of δEF1 and restored the sensitivity. Also, depletion of δEF1 by RNA interference in MDA-MB-231 cells restored the expression of ER-α and tamoxifen sensitivity. In conclusion, we have identified an important role of δEF1 in the development of tamoxifen resistance in breast cancer. Inhibiting δEF1 to restore ER-α expression might represent a potential therapeutic strategy for overcoming endocrine resistance in breast cancer.


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