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Endocr Relat Cancer. 2009 Jun;16(2):381-9. doi: 10.1677/ERC-09-0038. Epub 2009 Apr 15.

Cistromics of hormone-dependent cancer.

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Dartmouth Medical School, Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire 03756, USA.


Alterations in transcription programs are a fundamental feature of cancer. Nuclear receptors, such as the estrogen receptor alpha (ERalpha) and androgen receptors (ARs), are central in this process as they can directly impact gene expression through interaction with the chromatin and subsequent association with coregulators and the transcriptional machinery. Unbiased genome-wide investigations have demonstrated the predominant recruitment of both ERalpha and AR to distant (non-promoter)-regulatory elements. Furthermore, these studies revealed a clear relationship between sites of transcription factor recruitment and gene regulation. Indeed, expression profiles from AR-positive primary prostate tumors and cell lines directly relate to the AR cistrome in prostate cancer cells, while the ERalpha cistrome in breast cancer cells relates to expression profiles from ERalpha-positive primary breast tumors. Additionally, cell-type-specific ERalpha cistromes are linked to lineage-specific estrogen-induced expression profiles in different cell types, for example osteosarcoma and breast cancer cells. The pioneer factor forkhead box A1 (FoxA1/HNF3alpha) plays a central role in AR and ERalpha signaling. It is recruited in a lineage-specific manner translating the epigenetic signature consisting of mono- and dimethylated histone H3 on lysine 4 (H3K4me1/me2) into functional regulatory elements. Hence, through the interplay between the pioneer factor, namely FoxA1, and epigenetic events, the transcriptional potential of a given cell lineage is predefined. Since this directly impacts signaling through nuclear receptors, these discoveries should significantly impact the development of novel therapeutic strategies directed against multiple types of cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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