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Int J Cancer. 2000 Feb 15;85(4):584-9.

The effect of 2-methoxyoestrone-3-O-sulphamate on the growth of breast cancer cells and induced mammary tumours.

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Endocrinology and Metabolic Medicine, Imperial College School of Medicine, St Mary's Hospital, London, UK.


2-Methoxyoestrogens are emerging as a new class of drug that can inhibit tumour growth and angiogenesis. As sulphamoylation of oestrogens enhances their potency and bioavailability we have synthesized 2-methoxyoestrone-3-O-sulphamate (2-MeOEMATE) and compared its ability to inhibit the proliferation of breast cancer cells with that of 2-methoxyoestrone (2-MeOE1). 2-MeOEMATE (1 microM) inhibited the growth of oestrogen receptor positive MCF-7 breast cancer cells by 52% whereas 2-MeOE1 had little effect at this concentration. 2-MeOEMATE also inhibited the growth of oestrogen receptor negative MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. Exposure of cells to 2-MeOEMATE caused them to round up and become detached suggesting that this compound may induce cells to undergo apoptosis. Cell cycle analysis revealed that 2-MeOEMATE caused cells to arrest in the G(2)/M phase with the increase in G(2)/M arrested cells being detectable by 12 hr. Exposure of MCF-7 cells to 2 L-MeOEMATE for 24 hr followed by culture in drug-free medium for 24 hr did not reverse the arrest of cells in the G(2)/M phase. TUNEL analysis confirmed that 2-MeOEMATE induced apoptosis in a significant proportion of treated MCF-7 cells. In an in vivo study, employing nitrosomethylurea-induced mammary tumours in intact rats, 2-MeOE1 (20mg/kg/d, p.o. for 11 days) had little effect on tumour growth. In contrast, the same dose of 2-MeOEMATE resulted in the almost complete regression of 2/3 tumours over an 11-day period. We conclude that 2-MeOEMATE should have considerable therapeutic potential for the treatment of breast tumours.

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