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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1997 Jun 27;235(3):669-74.

Evaluation of clinical and environmental anti-estrogens with human estrogen receptor expressed in Saccharomyces cerevisiae: a novel role for ABC-cassette transporters in mediating anti-estrogenic activity.

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Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana 70112, USA.


The effectiveness of anti-estrogens in treating estrogen-dependent diseases is limited by the acquired resistance of some diseases to anti-estrogens. This effect could occur by the export of anti-estrogens by cell membrane transport proteins. To study this phenomenon we have expressed human estrogen receptor (hER) and an estrogen-sensitive reporter in wild-type yeast and two transport-defective strains. In the wild-type strain, the most effective anti-estrogen was nafoxidine. 4-Hydroxy tamoxifen and clomiphene were inactive whereas tamoxifen had significant inhibitory activity in the wild-type strain. Using a strain missing the ABC-cassette transporter Snq2, clomiphene had anti-estrogenic activity. 4-Hydroxy tamoxifen had anti-estrogenic activity only in yeast lacking the transporter Pdr5. Whole cell binding assays indicated that 4-hydroxy tamoxifen is exported by Pdr5. Environmental chemicals such as polychlorinated biphenyls function as partial estrogens and anti-estrogens in yeast. In the absence of Pdr5 or Snq2, the estrogenic activity of 4-hydroxy, 2',4',6'-trichloro biphenyl (3-PCB) was substantially reduced in comparison to its activity in the wild-type strain. Interestingly, the antiestrogenic activity of 3-PCB was equivalent in the wild-type and transporter-defective strains. Our results suggest a novel role for ABC-cassette transporters in regulating the activity of clinical and environmental anti-estrogens.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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