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Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2012;13(5):2385-92.

ER81-shRNA inhibits growth of triple-negative human breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231 in vivo and in vitro.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Kunming General Hospital, Kunming, China.


The lack of effective treatment targets for triple-negative breast cancers make them unfitted for endocrine or HER2 targeted therapy, and their prognosis is poor. Transcription factor ER81, a downstream gene of the HER2, is highly expressed in breast cancer lines, breast atypical hyperplasia and primary breast cancers including triple-negative examples. However, whether and how ER81 affects breast cancer carcinogenesis have remained elusive. We here assessed influence on a triple-negative cell line. ER81-shRNA was employed to silence ER81 expression in the MDA-MB-231 cell line, and MTT, colony-forming assays, and flow cytometry were used to detect cell proliferation, colony-forming capability, cell cycle distribution, and cell apoptosis in vitro. MDA-MB-231 cells stably transfected with ER81-shRNA were inoculated into nude mice, and growth inhibition of the cells was observed in vivo. We found that ER81 mRNA and protein expression in MDA-MB-231 cells was noticeably reduced by ER81-shRNA, and that cell proliferation and clonality were decreased significantly. ER81-shRNA further increased cell apoptosis and the residence time in G0/G1 phase, while delaying tumor-formation and growth rate in nude mice. It is concluded that ER81 may play an important role in the progression of breast cancer and may be a potentially valuable target for therapy, especially for triple negative breast cancer.

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