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Oncogene. 1997 Jul 3;15(1):107-15.

Inhibition of cyclin D expression in human breast carcinoma cells by retinoids in vitro.

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Laboratory of Pathology, Division of Clinical Sciences, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


Transfection and transgenic mouse experiments supported an oncogenic role for cyclin D1 in breast cancer. We recently reported that noninvasive carcinoma in situ lesions of the human breast overexpress cyclin D, suggesting that this molecular event may represent a valuable target for chemoprevention. The purpose of the present series of investigations was to identify agents which could reduce the cyclin D expression of breast cells. We report that 9-cis retinoic acid (9-cis RA) and all trans retinoic acid (tRA) inhibited the cyclin D1 and D3 expression levels of human MCF-7, ZR-75 and T-47D breast carcinoma cells in vitro. Where detectable, similar trends were observed in the immortalized, HBL-100 and MCF-10A breast cell lines. Cyclin D2 was undetectable. The effect of retinoids was both dose- and time-dependent, and correlated with altered cell cycle kinetics and proliferative status. Retinoids were also found to inhibit the expression levels of other cell cycle related proteins, including Cdk2 and Cdk4, resulting in lower kinase activities. In contrast to other breast prevention studies, no synergistic effect was observed with retinoids and tamoxifen. The data indicate that retinoids can potently reduce cyclin D expression levels in a variety of breast cell lines in vitro, and suggest further consideration of this mechanism for the chemoprevention of breast cancer.

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