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Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2001 Nov;70(2):89-101.

Association of steroid receptor coactivator AIB1 with estrogen receptor-alpha in breast cancer cells.

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Cancer Genetics Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute, The National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-4470, USA.


The steroid receptor coactivator AIB1 (amplified in breast cancer-1) is a transcriptional coactivator which has been found to be amplified in breast cancer. We have now investigated the role of the AIB1 protein in breast cancer cell lines. Although detectable levels of AIB1 were present in most cell lines, high levels of AIB1 expression were observed only in the ER-positive cell lines MCF-7 and BT-474 by western blot analysis. Newly developed monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) were used in several assays to show an association between AIBI and estrogen receptor-alpha (ER). AIB1 and ER co-localized to the nucleus of ER positive cell lines as shown by immunofluorescence microscopy, and a functional association of native AIB1 and ER in MCF-7 nuclear extracts was shown by EMSA. Recombinant ER also recruited AIB1 protein from nuclear extracts, shown by EMSA and by precipitation of ER-complex proteins bound to a biotinylated-ERE DNA target. Additionally, anti-AIB1 mAbs were able to immunoprecipitate ER from nuclear extracts of chemically cross-linked cells but not from uncross-linked cells. Both immunoprecipitation and oligonucleotide precipitation studies demonstrated the presence of p300 and CBP as part of the ER transcriptional complex. These results suggest that AIB1 and ER do associate physically in ER-positive breast cancer cell lines. We propose that in AIB1 amplified breast cancers, a heightened AIB1/ER association may play a crucial role in the progression of these tumors.

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