ER α mediates estrogen-induced expression of the breast cancer metastasis suppressor gene BRMS1

Hongtao Ma, Lauren S. Gollahon

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3 Scopus citations


Recently, estrogen has been reported as putatively inhibiting cancer cell invasion and motility. This information is in direct contrast to the paradigm of estrogen as a tumor promoter. However, data suggests that the effects of estrogen are modulated by the receptor isoform with which it interacts. In order to gain a clearer understanding of the role of estrogen in potentially suppressing breast cancer metastasis, we investigated the regulation of estrogen and its receptor on the downstream target gene, breast cancer metastasis suppressor 1 (BRMS1) in MCF-7, SKBR3, TTU-1 and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. Our results showed that estrogen increased the transcription and expression of BRMS1 in the ER α positive breast cancer cell line, MCF-7. Additionally, the ER α specific agonist PPT also induced the transcription and expression of BRMS1. However, the two remaining estrogen receptor (ER) subtype agonists had no effect on BRMS1 expression. In order to further examine the influence of ER α on BRMS1 expression, ER α expression was knocked down using siRNA (siERα). Western blot analysis showed that siERα reduced estrogen-induced and PPT-induced BRMS1 expression. In summary, this study demonstrates estrogen, via its α receptor, positively regulates the expression of BRMS1, providing new insight into a potential inhibitory effect of estrogen on metastasis suppression.

Original languageEnglish
Article number158
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 26 2016


  • BRMS1
  • Breast cancer
  • Estrogen
  • Estrogen receptor
  • Metastasis


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