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Wilms' tumor protein 1: an early target of progestin regulation in T-47D breast cancer cells that modulates proliferation and differentiation


Progesterone regulates the proliferation and differentiation of normal mammary epithelium. In breast cancer cells, progesterone and its synthetic analogs, progestins, induce long-term growth inhibition and differentiation. However, the mechanisms responsible are not fully understood. When T-47D breast cancer cells were treated with the synthetic progestin ORG 2058 (16alpha-ethoxy-21-hydroxy-19-norpregn-4-en-3,20-dione), all isoforms of Wilms' tumor protein 1 (Wt1) mRNA and protein were rapidly downregulated. We reasoned that the decrease in Wt1 levels may contribute to the long-term antiproliferative and differentiative effects of progestins as proliferation and differentiation are known end points of Wt1 action. Consistent with this idea, Wt1 small interfering RNA led to a decrease in S phase and cyclin D1 levels, and increased Oil-Red-O staining, indicating increased lipogenesis. Conversely, overexpression of Wt1 attenuated the decrease in S phase induced by ORG 2058 at 48-96 h. This was accompanied by the sustained expression of cyclin D1 despite progestin treatment, and increased levels of retinoblastoma (Rb) phosphorylation at sites targeted by cyclin D1-Cdk4 (Ser249/Thr252). Wt1 overexpression also attenuated the ORG 2058-mediated increase in fatty acid synthase levels and reduced lipogenesis. Thus, Wt1 downregulation was sufficient to mimic the effects of progestin and was necessary for complete progestin-mediated proliferative arrest and subsequent differentiation. Furthermore, Wt1 overexpression modulated the effects of progestins but not anti-estrogens or androgens. These results indicate that Wt1 is an important early target of progestins that regulates both proliferation and differentiation in breast cancer cells.

Type Journal
ISBN 1476-5594 (Electronic)
Authors Caldon, C. E.;Lee, C. S.;Sutherland, R. L.;Musgrove, E. A. :
Responsible Garvan Author (missing name)
Publisher Name ONCOGENE
Published Date 2008-01-01
Published Volume 27
Published Issue 1
Published Pages 126-38
Status Published in-print
URL link to publisher's version
OpenAccess link to author's accepted manuscript version