Pharmaceutical Sciences Faculty Publications

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

4-30-2012

Journal Title

Genome Medicine

ISSN

1756-994X

Volume

4

Issue

4

First Page

31

Last Page

31

DOI

10.1186/gm330

PubMed ID

22546321

PubMed Central® ID

PMC3446259

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Endogenous estrogens and estrogen metabolites play an important role in the pathogenesis and development of human breast, endometrial, and ovarian cancers. Increasing evidence also supports their involvement in the development of certain lung, colon and prostate cancers.

METHODS: In this study we systemically surveyed endogenous estrogen and estrogen metabolite levels in each of the NCI-60 human tumor cell lines, which include human breast, central nerve system, colon, ovarian, prostate, kidney and non-small cell lung cancers, as well as melanomas and leukemia. The absolute abundances of these metabolites were measured using a liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry method that has been previously utilized for biological fluids such as serum and urine.

RESULTS: Endogenous estrogens and estrogen metabolites were found in all NCI-60 human tumor cell lines and some were substantially elevated and exceeded the levels found in well known estrogen-dependent and estrogen receptor-positive tumor cells such as MCF-7 and T-47D. While estrogens were expected to be present at high levels in cell lines representing the female reproductive system (that is, breast and ovarian), other cell lines, such as leukemia and colon, also contained very high levels of these steroid hormones. The leukemia cell line RMPI-8226 contained the highest levels of estrone (182.06 pg/106 cells) and 17β-estradiol (753.45 pg/106 cells). In comparison, the ovarian cancer cell line with the highest levels of these estrogens contained only 19.79 and 139.32 pg/106 cells of estrone and 17β-estradiol, respectively. The highest levels of estrone and 17β-estradiol in breast cancer cell lines were only 8.45 and 87.37 pg/106 cells in BT-549 and T-47D cells, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: The data provided evidence for the presence of significant amounts of endogenous estrogens and estrogen metabolites in cell lines not commonly associated with these steroid hormones. This broad discovery of endogenous estrogens and estrogen metabolites in these cell lines suggest that several human tumors may be beneficially treated using endocrine therapy aimed at estrogen biosynthesis and estrogen-related signaling pathways.

Keywords

Endogenous, estrogens, metabolites, NCI-60, tumor, cell lines

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