Digital Object Identifier / DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-46912-3

Department

Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Document Type

Article

Source

Scientific Reports

Publication Date

8-20-2019

ISSN

2045-2322

Volume

9

Issue

1

First Page

12135

Last Page

12135

Abstract

Cadmium is an environmental contaminant that can activate estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) and contribute to the development and progression of breast cancer. Our lab previously demonstrated that chronic cadmium exposure alters the expression of several ERα-responsive genes and increases the malignancy of breast cancer cells. Although these studies support cadmium's function as a hormone disrupter, the role of ERα in cadmium-induced breast cancer progression remains unclear. To address this, we modulated the expression of ERα and found that while the loss of ERα significantly impaired cancer cell growth, migration, invasion and anchorage-independent growth in both MCF7 and MCF7-Cd cells, cadmium-exposed cells retained a significant advantage in cell growth, migration, and invasion, and partially circumvented the loss of ERα. ERα knockout in MCF7 and MCF7-Cd cells significantly reduced the expression of classical ERα-regulated genes, while non-classical ERα-regulated genes were less impacted by the loss of ERα in MCF7-Cd cells. This is the first study to show that chronic cadmium exposure, even at low levels, can increase the malignancy of breast cancer cells by decreasing their dependency on ERα and increasing the adaptability of the cancer cells.

PubMed ID

31431634

Rights

Copyright © 2019, The Author(s)

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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