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Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2013 Jul 15;6(8):1594-602. Print 2013.

The cervical malignant cells display a down regulation of ER-α but retain the ER-β expression.

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  • 1Laboratorio de Oncología Genómica, Unidad de Investigación Médica en Enfermedades Oncológicas, Hospital de Oncología, Centro Médico Nacional Siglo XXI, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, México D.F.


The human cervix is a tissue target of sex steroid hormones as estradiol (E2) which exerts its action through of the estrogen receptors alpha and beta (ER-α and ER-β). In this study we investigated the expression of ER-α and ER-β in human invasive cervical carcinomas using immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR analyses and compared with that observed in the corresponding normal tissue. The results show nuclear expression of ER-α mainly in the first third of normal cervical epithelium, however, decreased or absent expression were present in invasive cervical carcinoma, indicating that expression of ER-α is lost in cervical cancer. Nevertheless, by RT-PCR we were able to demonstrate mRNA expression of ER-α in invasive cervical tissues. These results suggest that loss of ER-α could be due to a mechanism of post-transcriptional and/or post-translational regulation of its gene during the progression to invasive carcinoma. On the other hand, ER-β was expressed in normal cervix with an expression pattern similar to ER-α. In addition to its nuclear localization, cytoplasmic immunoreaction of ER-β was present in the epithelium of invasive cervical carcinomas, suggesting an association between cytoplasmic ER-β expression and invasive phenotype in the cervical tumors. In summary, the results show that the cervical malignant cells tend to loss the ER-α but maintain the ER-β actively expressed. Loss of expression of ER-α in neoplastic tissue suggests that the estrogenic effects could be conducted through the ER-β in human neoplastic cervical tissue. More detailed studies are needed to confirm this suggestion and to determine the role of ER-β in cervical cancer.


ER-α; ER-β; HPV; cervical cancer

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