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Oncol Rep. 2012 Feb;27(2):504-10. doi: 10.3892/or.2011.1536. Epub 2011 Nov 8.

Nuclear estrogen receptor-mediated Notch signaling and GPR30-mediated PI3K/AKT signaling in the regulation of endometrial cancer cell proliferation.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University Affiliated First People's Hospital, Shanghai, PR China.


To elucidate the mechanisms of nuclear estrogen receptor (ER)-mediated and G protein-coupled receptor 30 (GPR30)-mediated signaling in the regulation of proliferation in ER-positive and ER-negative endometrial cancer cells, two human endometrial carcinoma cell lines, Ishikawa (ER-positive) and KLE (ER-negative), were used. PCR and Western blot analyses were used to determine the effects of estrogen stimulation on the activation of Notch and GPR30-PI3K/AKT signaling. Cell growth was investigated using MTT assays. Overexpression of ER in ER-negative cells was achieved by plasmid transfection and was used to investigate the effects on cellular growth and Notch signaling. GPR30-mediated signaling was evaluated using siRNA interference. Estrogen stimulated cell proliferation in both cell lines, it activated Notch signaling in ER-positive Ishikawa cells, but not in ER-negative KLE cells. Blockade of this signaling by a Notch inhibitor resulted in partial arrest of estrogen-induced cell proliferation in Ishikawa cells. Overexpression of ER in KLE cells restored estrogen-enhanced Notch signaling and further promoted cell growth. GPR30, as a new G-protein-coupled estrogen receptor, was detected in both cell lines, but was stronger in ER-negative KLE cells. Depletion of GPR30 in KLE cells abolished estrogen-induced PI3K/AKT signaling activation and resulted in inhibition of cell proliferation. Conclusively, regulation of proliferation in nuclear ER-positive endometrial cancer cells is mediated by both ER-Notch signaling and GPR30-PI3K/AKT signaling, whereas only the latter pathway is involved in the regulation of growth in nuclear ER-negative endometrial cancer cells.

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