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J Cell Physiol. 2006 Jun;207(3):793-9.

Vitamin D3 suppresses the androgen-stimulated growth of mouse mammary carcinoma SC-3 cells by transcriptional repression of fibroblast growth factor 8.

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Department of Pathology, Jichi Medical University, Shimotsuke, Tochigi, Japan.


Active metabolites of vitamin A and D are well known to act as growth inhibitors in hormone-related prostate and breast cancers. When various concentrations of 1alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (vitamin D3), all-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA) and 9-cis retinoic acid (9-cis RA) were examined, the androgen-stimulated growth of mouse mammary carcinoma SC-3 cells was inhibited by vitamin D3 alone in a dose-dependent manner. A flow cytometer analysis showed that vitamin D3 leads SC-3 cells to relative G1-growth arrest after 72 h. Characterization of vitamin D3-responsive genes using an oligonucleotide microarray demonstrated that 220 genes were upregulated at more than threefold, and 84 genes were downregulated to less than one-third, compared with the testosterone-stimulated SC-3 cells. Neither cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors (CDKIs) nor the antiapoptotic bcl-2 gene were induced in vitamin D3-responsive genes, with the exception of a slight induction of p15(INK4B). Importantly, fgf8 was markedly repressed in response to vitamin D3. The exogenous addition of FGF8 canceled the growth suppression by vitamin D3 in SC-3 cells, suggesting that the repression of fgf8 is an indispensable step in vitamin D3-mediated growth inhibition. In reporter assays using the ARE-containing artificial construct and the natural androgen-regulated PSA promoter, co-transfection of the vitamin D receptor (VDR) and androgen receptor (AR) suppressed AR-stimulated promoter activity. In addition, vitamin D3 also suppressed androgen-stimulated promoter activity in the stably transfected SC-3 cells. Moreover, VDR repressed the core promoter activity of fgf8 in COS1 cells and in the SC-3 cells. All these findings strongly suggest that vitamin D3 serves as a negative regulator for both androgen-related and fgf8 transcriptions.

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