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Oncol Res. 1994;6(8):373-81.

Control of cell proliferation of human breast MCF7 cells; serum and estrogen resistant variants.

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Tufts University School of Medicine, Program in Cell, Developmental and Molecular Biology, Boston, MA 02111.


The hypothesis explored in this article states that the control of the proliferation of estrogen target cells is regulated through two steps: the first involves a proliferative event in which estrogens cancel the inhibition exerted by a plasma-borne protein, and the second, an estrogen-induced proliferative shutoff 1. To study these estrogen-mediated events we developed a series of variants of the human breast MCF7 cell line. A first variant was selected by requiring the ancestral MCF7 cells to proliferate initially in Dulbecco's modified Eagle's phenol red-free medium supplemented with 5% charcoal-dextran stripped fetal calf serum; after 4 months, surviving cells were switched to 10% charcoal-dextran stripped human serum. Five months later, a stable cell line was characterized and cloned having a phenotype that allowed for maximal proliferation in charcoal-dextran stripped human serum-supplemented medium (CDHuS) to which no estradiol was added. Estradiol concentrations above 0.3 nM inhibited the proliferation of these cells; this effect was estrogen-specific. These cells are called E8CASS. A second variant derived from E8CASS cells was selected in 5% CDHuS supplemented with 0.3 nM estradiol; the proliferative pattern of these cells was comparable to that of the ancestral MCF7 cells. These revertant cells are called A2E8CASS. All variants and the ancestral MCF7 cells have functional estrogen receptors, as evidenced by the estrogen-induced expression of a pS2-CAT reporter gene. In conclusion, the collected data are compatible with the idea that, in MCF7 breast cells, the estradiol-mediated proliferative component can be segregated from the inhibitory effect also generated by estradiol.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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