Induction of UDP-glucuronosyltransferase 2B15 gene expression by the major active metabolites of tamoxifen,4-hydroxytamoxifen and endoxifen, in breast cancer cells

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    Abstract

    We previously reported upregulation of UGT2B15 by 17β-estradiol in breast cancer MCF7 cells via binding of the estrogen receptor α (ERα) to an estrogen response unit (ERU) in the proximal UGT2B15 promoter. In the present study, we show that this ERα-mediated upregulation was significantly reduced by two ER antagonists (fulvestrant and raloxifene) but was not affected by a third ER antagonist, 4-hydroxytamoxifen (4-OHTAM), a major active tamoxifen (TAM) metabolite. Furthermore, we found that, similar to 17β-estradiol, 4-OHTAM and endoxifen (another major active TAM metabolite) elevated UGT2B15 mRNA levels, and that this stimulation was significantly abrogated by fulvestrant. Further experiments using 4-OHTAM revealed a critical role for ERα in this regulation. Specifically; knockdown of ERα expression by anti-ERa small interfering RNA reduced the 4-OHTAM-mediated induction of UGT2B15 expression; 4-OHTAM activated the wild-type but not the ERU-mutated UGT2B15 promoter; and chromatin immuno-precipitation assays showed increased ERa occupancy at the UGT2B15 ERU in MCF7 cells upon exposure to 4-OHTAM. Together, these data indicate that both 17β-estradiol and the antiestrogen 4-OHTAM upregulate UGT2B15 in MCF7 cells via the same ERα-signaling pathway. This is consistent with previous observations that both 17β-estradiol and TAM upregulate a common set of genes in MCF7 cells via the ER-signaling pathway. As 4-OHTAM is a UGT2B15 substrate, the upregulation of UGT2B15 by 4-OHTAM in target breast cancer cells is likely to enhance local metabolism and inactivation of 4-OHTAM within the tumor. This represents a potential mechanism that may reduce TAM therapeutic efficacy or even contribute to the development of acquired TAM resistance.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)889-897
    Number of pages9
    JournalDrug Metabolism and Disposition
    Volume43
    Issue number6
    Early online date2015
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015

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