Abiraterone shows alternate activity in models of endocrine resistant and sensitive disease.
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Background Resistance to endocrine therapy remains a major clinical problem in the treatment of oestrogen-receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer. Studies show androgen-receptor (AR) remains present in 80-90% of metastatic breast cancers providing support for blockade of AR-signalling. However, clinical studies with abiraterone, which blocks cytochrome P450 17A1 (CYP17A1) showed limited benefit.Methods In order to address this, we assessed the impact of abiraterone on cell-viability, cell-death, ER-mediated transactivation and recruitment to target promoters. together with ligand-binding assays in a panel of ER+ breast cancer cell lines that were either oestrogen-dependent, modelling endocrine-sensitive disease, or oestrogen-independent modelling relapse on an aromatase inhibitor. The latter, harboured wild-type (wt) or naturally occurring ESR1 mutations.Results Similar to oestrogen, abiraterone showed paradoxical impact on proliferation by stimulating cell growth or death, depending on whether the cells are hormone-dependent or have undergone prolonged oestrogen-deprivation, respectively. Abiraterone increased ER-turnover, induced ER-mediated transactivation and ER-degradation via the proteasome.Conclusions Our study confirms the oestrogenic activity of abiraterone and highlights its differential impact on cells dependent on oestrogen for their proliferation vs. those that are ligand-independent and harbour wt or mutant ESR1. These properties could impact the clinical efficacy of abiraterone in breast cancer.
Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
Estrogen Receptor alpha
Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
Drug Resistance, Neoplasm
Endocrine Therapy Resistance
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British journal of cancer, 2018, 119 (3), pp. 313 - 322
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0
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