The effect of estradiol on in vivo tumorigenesis is modulated by the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2/phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt1 pathway

Kevin Lehnes, Abigail D. Winder, Camille Alfonso, Natasha Kasid, Michael Simoneaux, Heather Summe, Elisha Morgan, Mary C. Iann, Jessica Duncan, Matthew Eagan, Raluca Tavaluc, Charles H. Evans, Robert Russell, Antai Wang, Fengming Hu, Adriana Stoica

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

To determine whether the epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (ErbB2) and Akt1 can alter the in vivo growth of MCF-7 cells, parental cells or cells stably transfected with constitutively active Akt1 (myr-Akt1) or dominant-negative Akt1 mutants (K179M-Akt1 and R25C-Akt1) were implanted into athymic nude mice. Tumor growth was monitored in the presence or absence of the antiestrogen tamoxifen and the selective ErbB2 inhibitor, AG825. MCF-7 [parental or empty vector transfected, cytomegalovirus (CMV)] and myr-Akt1 cells formed tumors upon estradiol supplementation after 20-30 d (59-, 29-, and 17-fold increase in tumor volume, respectively). Tamoxifen and AG825 blocked the estradiol effect by 93 and 96% in MCF-7 xenografts, 88 and 81% in CMV xenografts, and 91% in myr-Akt1 xenografts. Furthermore, AG825 suppressed the growth of established tumors in CMV and myr-Akt1 inoculated animals by 68 and 75%, respectively, as compared with continued estrogen supplementation, suggesting a role for ErbB2. When K179M-Akt1 or R25C-Akt1 cells were injected into ovariectomized animals, tumor growth was reduced upon estradiol treatment by 95% and 98%, respectively, supporting a role for Akt1. In contrast to ovariectomized animals, in intact animals, myr-Akt1 cells could establish tumors without estradiol priming after 40-50 d (20-fold increase in tumor volume). Loss of Akt1 phosphorylation was associated with tumor growth inhibition. Immunohistochemical assays showed that in tumors from parental and CMV xenografts, estradiol decreased estrogen receptor-α expression and induced progesterone receptor expression and Akt phosphorylation, effects that were inhibited by tamoxifen, AG825, and R25C-Akt1 by 89, 82, and 77% for progesterone receptor expression and 48, 66, and 73% for pAkt expression, respectively. Cumulatively, our results suggest that Akt1 and ErbB2 are involved in in vivo tumorigenesis and modulation of estrogen receptor-α expression and activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1171-1180
Number of pages10
JournalEndocrinology
Volume148
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology

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