Estrone sulfate promotes human breast cancer cell replication and nuclear uptake of estradiol in MCF-7 cell cultures.

Estradiol levels in breast tumors from post-menopausal women are similar to those in pre-menopausal women even though plasma estrogens are much lower after the menopause. In situ estrogen production by the tumor provides a potential means of maintaining high estradiol levels in post-menopausal breast cancer tissue. The estrone sulfatase pathway has been proposed as the mediator of in situ estrogen production. A number of studies suggest that estrone sulfate may be converted into estradiol in breast tumors via the catalytic activity of estrone sulfatase and 17 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase. However, these studies used pharmacologic levels of estrogen sulfates and have not shown that physiologic levels can support biologic effects. Accordingly, the present study examined the dose relationship of estrone sulfate to a variety of biologic endpoints in MCF-7 breast cancer cells in culture. These cells converted physiologic concentrations of estrone sulfate to quantities of free estradiol capable of stimulating cell growth. Under these conditions, the nuclear steroids observed were free estrone and estradiol. Increase in cell number after 6 days of exposure to steroid required 100 nM estrone sulfate. However, S-phase, a more sensitive measure of cell proliferation, was stimulated by 0.1 nM estrone sulfate, a clearly physiologic concentration. Stimulation of estrogen-dependent protein markers such as pS2 and progesterone receptor required much higher concentrations of estrone sulfate. These effects were mediated through the estrogen receptor since the pure anti-estrogen, ICI 164384, blocked all effects produced by estrone sulfate. While it has been suggested that anti-estrogens may partly exert their effects by inhibition of sulfatase and 17 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, this did not occur under our experimental conditions. These data provide evidence of the relevance of the estrone sulfatase pathway since biologic effects can be demonstrated in response to physiologic concentrations of estrone sulfate.
AuthorsS J Santner, B Ohlsson-Wilhelm, R J Santen
JournalInternational journal of cancer. Journal international du cancer (Int J Cancer) Vol. 54 Issue 1 Pg. 119-24 (Apr 22 1993) ISSN: 0020-7136 [Print] UNITED STATES
PMID8478138 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.)
Chemical References
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Polyunsaturated Alkamides
  • Proteins
  • Receptors, Progesterone
  • TFF1 protein, human
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Estrone
  • Estradiol
  • ICI 164384
  • Sulfatases
  • estrone sulfatase
  • estrone sulfate
  • Biological Transport (drug effects)
  • Breast Neoplasms (metabolism, pathology)
  • Cell Division (drug effects)
  • Cell Nucleus (metabolism)
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Estradiol (analogs & derivatives, metabolism, pharmacology)
  • Estrone (analogs & derivatives, metabolism, pharmacology)
  • Female
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Neoplasm Proteins (metabolism)
  • Polyunsaturated Alkamides
  • Proteins
  • Receptors, Progesterone (metabolism)
  • S Phase
  • Sulfatases (antagonists & inhibitors)
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins

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