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Int J Oncol. 2013 Jun;42(6):2060-8. doi: 10.3892/ijo.2013.1886. Epub 2013 Apr 8.

NGX6 expression improves the sensitivity of tamoxifen-resistant MCF-7 cells through modulation of the Smad signaling pathway.

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Department of Ultrasound, Τhe First Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University, Heping District, Shenyang, Liaoning 110001, P.R. China.


The effects of nasopharyngeal carcinoma-associated gene 6 (NGX6) in breast cancer was studied. We demonstrated that the levels of the NGX6 protein and mRNA were lower in patients with tamoxifen-resistant tumors compared to patients with tamoxifen-sensitive tumors. Tamoxifen was able to decrease proliferation, increase apoptosis and induce G1 arrest in NGX6-expressing TRM-7 cells in vitro. In order to detect the mechanism(s) of tamoxifen action, we first obtain the three-dimensional structure of the NGX6 protein by using Protein Homology/analogY Recognition Engine (PHYRE). Prediction of the docking between the NGX6 protein and tamoxifen was performed using SYBYL-X 1.3. Furthermore, we found that tamoxifen activated Smad2/3, and increased the expression of Smad4 in NGX6-expressing TRM-7 cells as evaluated by western blot analysis. Smad2/3-targeted siRNA was used to confirm the mechanism(s) of tamoxifen action in NGX6-expressing cells. These results indicated that NGX6 may increase the sensitivity of breast cancer cells to tamoxifen.

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