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J Cell Physiol. 2010 Oct;225(1):168-73. doi: 10.1002/jcp.22209.

Angiotensin II/angiotensin II type I receptor (AT1R) signaling promotes MCF-7 breast cancer cells survival via PI3-kinase/Akt pathway.

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Medical Department of Breast Oncology, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin, China.


Angiotensin II (Ang II) is a bioactive peptide of the renin-angiotensin system, acting not only as a vasoconstrictor but also as a growth promoter via angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT1R) in some cancer. In this study, we examined the mechanisms by which Ang II affected the cell proliferation in AT1R-positive MCF-7 human breast cancer cells. Ang II stimulated the growth of breast cancer cells in a dose- and time-dependent manner. The maximal proliferation effect on MCF-7 cells was obtained with 10(-4) M Ang II at 24 h. Losartan (10(-5) M, an AT1R antagonist) significantly decreased the level of Ang-II-induced proliferative effects, whereas PD123319 (10(-5) M, an AT2R antagonist) had no effects. Moreover, Ang II could significantly accelerate S-phase progression, which was inhibited by losartan (10(-5) M) or LY294002 (50 microM, a PI3-kinase inhibitor). In addition, Ang II caused rapid activation of p-Akt in a dose- and time-dependent manner. 10(-4) M Ang II induced a significant increase of p-Akt in 15 min. The peak level of p-Akt could be persisted for at least 6 h. Among the signaling molecules downstream of Akt, we revealed that Ang II also significantly upregulated CyclinD1, GSK3beta, and downregulated p27. Pretreatment with losartan (10(-5) M) or LY294002 (50 microM) could significantly suppress these effects of Ang II. These findings suggest that Ang II plays a role in the growth of AT1R-positive breast cancer cells through PI3-kinase/Akt pathway activation. Therefore, targeting Ang II/AT1R signaling could be a novel therapeutic for breast cancer.

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