In contrast to T47D cells, BC-ER cells grew slower
after being treated with E2, and cell proportion in the G2 + S period was reduced. This result is consistent with previous studies showing that E2 inhibits the growth of ERα-positive breast cancer cells transformed from ERαeFT508 in vitro -negative cells [29–31]. We supposed that drug resistance of BC-ER cells was due to its low growth velocity in the presence of E2. However, the apoptosis-regulating proteins Bcl-2 and Bax, which are considered as important proteins mediating drug resistance in ERα-positive breast cancer cells, may not play a role in the formation of drug resistance of BC-ER cells. The results obtained above showed that ERα activation increased the sensitivity of natural ERα-positive T47D breast cancer cells to different chemotherapeutic agents, and that the inhibition of LEE011 in vivo ERα activation by fulvestrant resulted in chemoresistance. Meanwhile, ERα activation decreased Selleck Niraparib the chemosensitivity of ERα-stably transfected BC-ER cells. Compared with ERα-negative BC-V cells, ERα-positive BC-ER cells presented higher resistance to multiple chemotherapeutic agents. We could not explain these phenomena
by stating that ERα mediated the drug resistance of breast cancer cells to chemotherapy through the regulation of the expression of Bcl-2 and Bax. This is because ERα activation upregulated the expression of Bcl-2 in natural ERα-positive breast cancer cells, however, ERα activation downregulated Bcl-2 expression and upregulated Bax expression in ERα-positive cancer cells transformed Ribonucleotide reductase from ERα-negative breast cancer cells. We explained this phenomenon through the influence of ERα on the growth of breast cancer cells, that is, ERα activation enhanced the growth of natural ERα-positive breast cancer cells, and eventually increased sensitivity to chemotherapeutic agents. However, for Bcap37 cells transformed from ERα-negative breast cancer cells, ERα activation
inhibited the growth of cancer cells, and increased the resistance of cancer cells to chemotherapeutic agents. Conclusions ERα activation was unable to induce the drug resistance of natural ERα positive T47D breast cancer cells. Although it increased the drug resistance of Bcap37 cells transformed from ERα-negative breast cancer cells, this was, however, attributable only to the inhibitory effect of E2 on the growth of these ERα-transfected Bcap37 cells. The observation was not applicable to common ERα-positive breast cancer cells. Taking together our in vitro and previous clinical findings, we indicated that, although ERα was associated with chemoresistance of breast cancers, ERα itself did not mediate this resistance process. This finding might explain why the co-application of the estrogen antagonist tamoxifen and the chemotherapeutic agents did not have good therapeutic effects in breast cancer therapy.