Breast Cancer-Proximal Stroma Interaction & Aromatase

Summary

Principal Investigator: Serdar Bulun
Affiliation: Northwestern University
Country: USA
Abstract: The long-range goal is to define the epithelial-stromal interactions responsible for aromatase expression and estrogen production in breast cancer tissue. The overall hypothesis is that upregulated aromatase expression in breast fibroblasts increases the tissue concentration of estradiol (E2), which enhances development and growth of malignant breast epithelial cells. This clinically pertains, since aromatase inhibitors (Als) are the most effective hormonal treatment of breast tumors. A single gene encodes aromatase, the key enzyme in estrogen biosynthesis, the inhibition of which by an Al effectively eliminates E2 production. We showed that 81% of estrogen production in breast cancer tissue was accounted for by the aberrant activation of the alternatively used promoter I.3/II region, which is coordinately regulated by PGE2 and its downstream signaling effectors/transcription factors p38/ATF-2, JNK/c-jun and BRCA1 in breast adipose fibroblasts. Selective inhibition of this promoter region may treat beast cancer while permitting aromatase expression at other body sites and thus obviate the key side effects of the current Als. The mechanisms that regulate the promoter I3/II region will be investigated under the following aims:1A. To identify p38 and JNK-dependent transcriptional regulators that stimulate aromatase expression in breast adipose fibroblasts. PGE2 secreted by malignant cells upregulates the aromatase promoters I.3/II significantly both in vivo in breast tumor tissue and in vitro in cultured breast adipose fibroblasts. We will test the hypothesis that the transcription factors ATF-2 and c-jun activated by p38 and JNK are necessary for PGE2-dependent transcriptional activation of aromatase via the promoter I.3/II region in breast adipose fibroblasts. 1B. To determine in vivo phosphorylation of p38, ATF-2, JNK and c-jun in fibroblasts in breast tumors. 2A. To define the role of BRCA1 in the regulation of aromatase expression in breast adipose fibroblasts. We will test the hypothesis that BRCA1 interacts with the transcriptional complex at promoters I.3/II to inhibit their transactivation, whereas reduced BRCA1 levels fail to repress aromatase expression. 2B. To determine in vivo differential expression of aromatase and other key PGE2/estradiol-related genes in BRCA1 haplo insufficient breast tissues from mutation carriers vs. noncarrier controls. Proposed studies may lead to new pilot trials of treatment and prevention using p38/JNK inhibitors in BRCA1 mutation carriers.
Funding Period: ----------------1996 - ---------------2011-
more information: NIH RePORT

Top Publications

  1. ncbi Novel estrogen receptor-alpha binding sites and estradiol target genes identified by chromatin immunoprecipitation cloning in breast cancer
    Zhihong Lin
    Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois 60611, USA
    Cancer Res 67:5017-24. 2007
  2. pmc Aromatase excess in cancers of breast, endometrium and ovary
    Serdar E Bulun
    Robert H Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center and Division of Reproductive Biology Research, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL 60611, USA
    J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 106:81-96. 2007
  3. pmc Adenosine A1 receptor, a target and regulator of estrogen receptoralpha action, mediates the proliferative effects of estradiol in breast cancer
    Z Lin
    Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL 60611, USA
    Oncogene 29:1114-22. 2010
  4. pmc Changes in aromatase (CYP19) gene promoter usage in non-small cell lung cancer
    Masashi Demura
    Division of Reproductive Biology Research, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL 60611, USA
    Lung Cancer 73:289-93. 2011
  5. pmc Aromatase, breast cancer and obesity: a complex interaction
    Serdar E Bulun
    Division of Reproductive Biology Research, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL 60611, USA
    Trends Endocrinol Metab 23:83-9. 2012

Scientific Experts

  • Serdar Bulun
  • Masashi Demura
  • Z Lin
  • Zhihong Lin
  • Takeshi Ishizaki
  • Shingo Ameshima
  • Masakazu Yamagishi
  • Yoshiki Demura
  • Isamu Miyamori
  • Masato Sasaki
  • Yoshiyu Takeda
  • S Reierstad
  • E K Pearson
  • M O'Halloran
  • P Yin
  • G M Mutlu
  • V J S Coon
  • Scott Reierstad
  • Chiang Ching Huang

Detail Information

Publications6

  1. ncbi Novel estrogen receptor-alpha binding sites and estradiol target genes identified by chromatin immunoprecipitation cloning in breast cancer
    Zhihong Lin
    Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois 60611, USA
    Cancer Res 67:5017-24. 2007
    ..Our findings suggest that at least a subset of these genes, including Wnt11, may play important in vivo and in vitro biological roles in breast cancer...
  2. pmc Aromatase excess in cancers of breast, endometrium and ovary
    Serdar E Bulun
    Robert H Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center and Division of Reproductive Biology Research, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL 60611, USA
    J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 106:81-96. 2007
    ..Thus, inflammatory substances such as PGE(2) may play important roles in inducing local production of estrogen that promotes tumor growth...
  3. pmc Adenosine A1 receptor, a target and regulator of estrogen receptoralpha action, mediates the proliferative effects of estradiol in breast cancer
    Z Lin
    Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL 60611, USA
    Oncogene 29:1114-22. 2010
    ..These data suggest that Adora1 may represent an important target for therapeutic intervention in hormone-dependent breast cancer...
  4. pmc Changes in aromatase (CYP19) gene promoter usage in non-small cell lung cancer
    Masashi Demura
    Division of Reproductive Biology Research, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL 60611, USA
    Lung Cancer 73:289-93. 2011
    ..Further studies are needed to examine the impact of alternative CYP19 promoter usage on local estrogen levels and lung tumor growth...
  5. pmc Aromatase, breast cancer and obesity: a complex interaction
    Serdar E Bulun
    Division of Reproductive Biology Research, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL 60611, USA
    Trends Endocrinol Metab 23:83-9. 2012
    ..Systematic characterization of these signaling pathways will facilitate the identification of potential drug targets to selectively reduce aromatase expression and excessive estrogen production, with therapeutic benefit...