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Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2010 Jul;122(2):395-407. doi: 10.1007/s10549-009-0581-0. Epub 2009 Oct 22.

Menin, a product of the MENI gene, binds to estrogen receptor to enhance its activity in breast cancer cells: possibility of a novel predictive factor for tamoxifen resistance.

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Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Kagawa University, 1750-1 Ikenobe Miki-cho, Kita-gun, Kagawa, Japan.


Multiple coactivator and corepressor complexes play an important role in endocrine processes and breast cancer; in particular, estrogen and estrogen receptor-alpha (ERalpha) promote the proliferation of breast cancer cells. Menin is a tumor suppressor encoded by Men1 that is mutated in the human-inherited tumor syndrome multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1); it also serves as a critical link in the recruitment of nuclear receptor-mediated transcription. Here, we show that menin expressed in breast cancer cell line MCF-7 is colocalized with ERalpha and functions as a direct coactivator of ER-mediated transcription in breast cancer cells. In MCF-7 cells, coexpression of menin and estrogen-response element-luciferase induced the activity of the latter in a hormone-dependent manner. Cells knocked down for ERalpha exhibited impaired ERE-luciferase activity induced by menin. Mammalian two-hybrid assay and GST pull-down assays indicated that menin could interact with the AF-2 domain of ERalpha. These results indicate that menin is a direct activator of ERalpha function. Tamoxifen inhibited the binding of menin to AF-2 in mammalian two-hybrid assay, but in menin-overexpressing clones, tamoxifen suppressed ERE-luciferase activity only to the levels of nontreated wild-type MCF-7. In a clinical study with 65 ER-positive breast cancer samples-all of which had been treated with tamoxifen for 2-5 years as adjuvant therapies--menin-positive tumors had a worse outcome than menin-negative ones. These indicated that menin can function as a transcriptional regulator of ERalpha and is a possible predictive factor for tamoxifen resistance.

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