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Inverse relationship between estrogen receptor and epidermal growth factor receptor mRNA levels in human breast cancer cell lines


Epidermal growth factor receptors (EGF-R) are present in a number of human breast cancer cell lines and tumor biopsies. Furthermore, it has been suggested that EGF-R levels are higher in estrogen receptor negative (ER-) than in ER+ human breast tumors and that EGF-R status may be a prognostic indicator in breast cancer. The present study was undertaken to establish whether there is a quantitative relationship between EGF-R and ER mRNA concentrations in a series of 10 well-characterized human breast cancer cell lines. All cell lines expressed detectable quantities of EGF-R mRNA by Northern analysis but the relative abundance of EGF-R mRNA varied more than 50-fold. Two transcripts corresponding to the 10.5- and 5.8-kb mRNAs described in other cell types were present but in different relative proportions in different cell lines. When these lines were divided into an ER+ and an ER- group based on their ability to bind estradiol, ER- cell lines were shown to express significantly higher concentrations of EGF-R mRNA than did ER+ cell lines (p less than 0.005). Furthermore, linear-regression analysis revealed a significant inverse relationship between ER and EGF-R mRNA concentrations both within the group of 10 human breast cancer cell lines as a whole (r = 0.66) and within the 6 functionally ER + lines (r = 0.77). This demonstration of a significant (p less than 0.005) inverse relationship between the concentrations of ER and EGF-R mRNAs in ER + cell lines raises the possibility of reciprocal regulation of the expression of these genes in human breast cancer.

Type Journal
ISBN 0897-7194 (Print)
Authors Lee, C. S.;Hall, R. E.;Alexander, I. E.;Koga, M.;Shine, J.;Sutherland, R. L. :
Garvan Authors Prof John Shine
Published Date 1990-01-01 00:00:00
Published Volume 3
Published Issue 2
Published Pages 97-103
Status Published In-print