Estrogen Receptor Beta and p53 Play Integral Roles in Estradiol Mediated Protection against Colon Tumor Development
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Hormone replacement therapy and estrogen replacement therapy have shown the ability to reduce risk of colon cancer development in clinical and animal studies, but in vitro research has been unable to reproduce an estradiol (E2) induced response in colon cancer cell lines. We demonstrated that young adult mouse colonocytes (YAMC, non-malignant colonocytes) exhibit an anti-proliferative response to E2 treatment. These cells demonstrate reduced cell culture growth and increased apoptosis in response to E2. YAMC cells containing an activated Ras mutation are considered to be malignantly transformed, and lose the ability to respond to E2 treatment. Fulvestrant (ICI) was used as an estrogen receptor antagonist to determine that these results were estrogen receptor mediated. Furthermore, this effect was demonstrated to require the presence of ER? through the use of a transgenic ERbeta knockout mouse. In these mice, the presence of E2 significantly reduced the formation of azoxymethane induced premalignant lesions. Since YAMC cells exhibit an anti-proliferative response to E2 treatment, we utilized isogenic YAMC cell lines with and without a dominant negative p53 mutation to demonstrate that this E2 induced action involves p53 activity. E2 treatment results in increased p53 transcriptional activity and a pro-apoptotic change in expression of p53 downstream targets. Presence of the dominant negative p53 mutant nullifies these effects of E2 treatment. The involvement of p53 in the previously described protection against AOM induced premalignant lesions, was investigated using wild type and heterozygous p53 knockout (Het p53KO) mice. The reduction in p53 protein corresponded to reduced effectiveness of E2 treatment on the prevention of premalignant lesion formation in Het p53KO mice. In summary, our data indicate that E2 treatment induces anti-proliferative responses in non-malignant colonocytes and protects against the formation of carcinogen-induced premalignant lesions. These effects require the presence of functional ER? and p53. Further studies are required to more thoroughly elucidate the specific interactions and downstream effects of ER? and p53 in response to E2 stimulation.
Weige, Charles (2012). Estrogen Receptor Beta and p53 Play Integral Roles in Estradiol Mediated Protection against Colon Tumor Development. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from