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Protein kinase C-α downregulates estrogen receptor-α by suppressing c-Jun phosphorylation in estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer cells

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Protein kinase C (PKC) activity is elevated in malignant compared with that in normal human breast tissue. In the present study, we investigated the regulatory mechanism and the co-relationship between PKC-α and estrogen receptor-α (ER-α) in ER-α-positive and tamoxifen-resistant (TAMR) breast cancer cells. Our results showed that the level of ER-α expression was significantly decreased in TAMR when compared with that in tamoxifen-sensitive (TAMS) breast cancer cells. However, PKC-α phosphorylation was increased in TAMR breast cancer cells when compared to that in TAMS breast cancer cells. Additionally, ER-α expression was significantly decreased due to the overexpression of constitutively active PKC-α (CA-PKC-α). Next, we investigated the effects of 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA), a reversible activator of PKC, on ER-α expression in ER-α-positive breast cancer cells. TPA decreased the levels of ER-α expression in a time- and dose-dependent manner. In contrast, the TPA-induced downregulation of ER-α was prevented by Go6983, a specific PKC inhibitor. Notably, we found that CA-PKC-α suppressed c-JUN phosphorylation, which is a major activating protein-1 factor, and TPA-induced downregulation of ER-α was prevented by SR11302, a specific activator protein-1 inhibitor. Taken together, we demonstrated that PKC-α activity suppressed the level of ER-α expression by inhibiting c-JUN phosphorylation in ER-α-positive breast cancer cells. Therefore, we suggest that PKC-α may be a potential therapeutic target for treating ER-positive and TAMR breast cancer.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Surgery, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Gangnam-gu, Seoul 135-710, Republic of Korea

Publication date: March 1, 2014

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