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Regulation of breast cancer cell cycle progression by growth factors, steroids and steroid antagonists


The control of human breast cancer cell proliferation in vitro is known to involve complex interactions between steroid hormones, peptide hormones and growth factors. Little is known, however, of the mechanisms by which these factors, alone or in combination, control cell cycle progression and the expression of specific genes involved in cell cycle control. A pre-requisite for such studies is a cellular system in which non-proliferating or slowly proliferating cells can be maintained in a defined environment and stimulated to progress through the cell cycle by addition of hormones and growth factors. Such a system has been developed for T-47D human breast cancer cells: quiescent or slowly proliferating cells maintained in a serum-free medium can be stimulated to increase their rate of cell cycle progression upon a single addition of insulin, IGF-I, EGF, TGF alpha or bFGF. Oestradiol alone was ineffective but caused a significant increase in % S phase cells when added in the presence of insulin. Progestins, in the presence of absence of insulin, had a biphasic effect with an initial increase in cell cycle progression followed by cell cycle arrest. Both antioestrogens and the antiprogestin, RU 486, in the absence of oestrogen or progestin, were potent inhibitors of insulin-induced proliferation. Increases in cell cycle progression were invariably accompanied by acute increases in c-fos and c-myc mRNA levels. Induction of c-myc by oestrogen and progestin was inhibited by antioestrogens and RU 486, respectively. These data illustrate that the culture of breast cancer cells in a serum-free, chemically defined environment provides an excellent model in which to define the role of individual factors involved in breast cancer growth control. The biological data derived from this system provide a basis for identifying and characterizing genes involved in the control of cell cycle progression in human breast cancer.

Type Journal
ISBN 0960-0760 (Print)
Authors Sutherland, R. L.;Lee, C. S.;Feldman, R. S.;Musgrove, E. A. :
Garvan Authors
Published Date 1992-01-01 00:00:00
Published Volume 41
Published Issue 3-8
Published Pages 315-21
Status Published in-print