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Ubiquitin Pathway Enzymes: Coactivators of Nuclear Hormone Receptor and Their Role in the Development of Breast Cancer

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Final rept. 15 Jun 2000-14 Dec 2003

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Steroid hormones, estrogen, and progesterone, and their intracellular receptors play an important role in the development and progression of breast cancer. Coactivator proteins modulate the biological activity of these hormone receptor. We have cloned an E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase enzyme, E6-associated protein E6-AP and E2 ubiquitin- conjugating enzyme, UbcH7 as coactivators of steroid hormone receptors. The purpose of this research is to explore the possibility that the altered expression of E6-AP and UbcH7 may contribute to the development of breast cancer. We have examined this possibility by studying the expression patterns of E6-AP, UbcH7 and estrogen receptor- alpha ER in various human breast cancer cell lines and breast tumor biopsy samples. Additionally, we have correlated the expression profile of E6-AP and UbcH7 with that of ER in breast tumor biopsies. To study the expression profile of E6-AP and UbcH7 in human breast tumors, we examined 100 different human breast cancer biopsy samples. We found an inverse correlation between the expression of E6-AP and the expression of ER in these tumors. Furthermore, our data also demonstrate that 80 human tumors exhibited decreased level of E6-AP expression compared to that of normal mammary tissues. Furthermore, we found that E6-AP modulates the expression levels of ER both in vitro and in vivo. These data suggest a possible role of E6-AP in mammary gland development and tumorigenesis. However, we did not find any statistically significant correlation between the expression profile of UbcH7 and ER in these tumor samples. Another goal of this project is to create novel in vitro models in stable cell lines, which will overexpress coactivator proteins E6-AP and UbcH7.

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  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Medicine and Medical Research

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