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Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2010 Mar;42(3):320-30. doi: 10.1165/rcmb.2009-0059OC. Epub 2009 Jun 25.

Sex differences in estrogen receptor subcellular location and activity in lung adenocarcinoma cells.

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Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Center for Genetics and Molecular Medicine, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, KY 40292, USA.


The role of estrogens in the increased risk of lung adenocarcinoma in women remains uncertain. We reported that lung adenocarcinoma cell lines from female, but not male, patients with non-small cell lung cancer respond proliferatively and transcriptionally to estradiol (E(2)), despite equal protein expression of estrogen receptors (ER) alpha and beta. To test the hypothesis that nuclear localization of ER alpha corresponds to genomic E(2) activity in lung adenocarcinoma cells from females, cell fractionation, immunoblot, and confocal immunohistochemical microscopy were performed. We report for the first time that E(2) increases phospho-serine-118-ER alpha (P-ser118-ER alpha) and cyclin D1 (CCND1) nuclear colocalization in H1793, but not A549 lung adenocarcinoma cells, derived from a female and male patient, respectively. ER beta was primarily in the cytoplasm and mitochondria, independent of E(2) treatment, and showed no difference between H1793 and A549 cells. E(2) induced higher transcription of endogenous ER alpha-regulated CCND1 in H1793 than in A549 cells. Likewise, higher rapid, non-genomic E(2)-induced extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 activation was detected in H1793 compared with A549 cells, linking extracellular signal-regulated kinase activation to increased P-ser118-ER alpha. Furthermore, E(2) increased cyclin D1 and P-ser118-ER alpha nuclear localization in H1793, but not A549 cells. Together, our results indicate that nuclear localization of P-ser118-ER alpha provides one explanation for sex-dependent differences in E(2)-genomic responses in lung adenocarcinoma cell lines.

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