GATA-3 is expressed in association with estrogen receptor in breast cancer

Int J Cancer. 1999 Apr 20;84(2):122-8. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1097-0215(19990420)84:2<122::aid-ijc5>;2-s.


To better understand the molecular basis for the hormone-responsive phenotype in breast cancer, we have used a human cDNA array to compare patterns of gene expression between breast carcinoma cell lines discordant for estrogen receptor (ER) expression. These experiments indicated abundant expression of the transcription factor GATA-3 in the ER-positive cell lines MCF7 and T-47D, with minimal or no expression in the ER-negative cells lines MDA-MB-231 and HBL-100. Northern blot analysis of a panel of human breast carcinoma cell lines demonstrated a correlation between ER and GATA-3 expression. Studies of MCF7 cells grown in the absence or presence beta-estradiol indicated that GATA-3 expression was not responsive to estradiol. Protein immunoprecipitation and gel shift analysis confirmed the presence of functional GATA-3 protein in MCF7 but not in HBL-100 nuclear extracts. A panel of 47 primary breast cancers was characterized for expression of ER and GATA-3 using immunoperoxidase assay. In primary tumors, a statistically significant correlation between ER and GATA-3 expression was established (p < 0.0001, chi2). Our results indicate that GATA-3, in association with ER, is likely to regulate genes critical to the hormone-responsive breast cancer phenotype.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Blotting, Northern
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / drug effects
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics*
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Estradiol / pharmacology
  • Female
  • GATA3 Transcription Factor
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Receptors, Estrogen / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Progesterone / metabolism
  • Trans-Activators / drug effects
  • Trans-Activators / genetics*
  • Trans-Activators / metabolism
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • GATA3 Transcription Factor
  • GATA3 protein, human
  • Receptors, Estrogen
  • Receptors, Progesterone
  • Trans-Activators
  • Estradiol