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Cell Growth Differ. 1995 Sep;6(9):1077-88.

Expression of retinoic acid receptor beta mediates retinoic acid-induced growth arrest and apoptosis in breast cancer cells.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University of Washington, Seattle 98195-7470, USA.


The expression of the retinoic acid receptor beta (RAR beta) mRNA is absent or down-regulated in most human breast cancer cell lines. To investigate the role RAR beta may have in regulating the proliferation of breast cancer cells, we used retroviral vector-mediated gene transduction to introduce the human RAR beta gene into two RAR beta-negative breast tumor cell lines, MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231. RAR beta-transduced clones underwent growth inhibition associated with G1 arrest when treated with 1 microM all-trans-retinoic acid (RA). Moreover, the MCF7-RAR beta transduced clones also underwent apoptosis after 4 to 6 days of RA treatment. The RA-induced growth arrest in MDA231-RAR beta transduced cells is associated with c-myc mRNA down-regulation, whereas the RA-mediated apoptosis of MCF7-RAR beta transduced cells is not associated with c-myc down-regulation. These observations suggest a critical role for RAR beta in mediating growth arrest and apoptosis in breast cancer cells.

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