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Oncogene. 2008 May 8;27(21):3021-31. Epub 2007 Dec 3.

Ets-2 and p160 proteins collaborate to regulate c-Myc in endocrine resistant breast cancer.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Dublin, Ireland.


Associations between p160 coactivator proteins and endocrine resistance have been described. Though thought to primarily interact with steroid receptors, the p160 proteins can also interact with non-nuclear receptor transcription factors including the MAP kinase effector proteins Ets. Here, we observed that in breast cancer cells resistant and insensitive to endocrine treatment, the growth factor EGF induced Ets-2 but not Ets-1 transcriptional regulation of the oncogene myc. Ets-2 regulation of myc was found to be reliant on the p160 proteins SRC-1 and SRC-3. In support of these molecular observations, strong associations were observed between the transcription factor, Ets-2 and its coactivator SRC-1 (P<0.01) and the target gene myc (P<0.0001) in a cohort of breast cancer patients with locally advanced disease. Expression of Ets-2, SRC-1 and c-Myc individually all associated with reduced disease-free survival (P<0.001, P<0.001 and P=0.002 respectively). There was no association between SRC-3 and disease-free survival (P=0.707). SRC-1 can utilize MAP kinase effector transcription factor Ets-2 to regulate the production of the oncogene myc. These signalling mechanisms may be important in the development of steroid resistant/independent breast cancer.

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