Estrogens and cell-cycle regulation in breast cancer

Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2001 Sep;12(7):320-7. doi: 10.1016/s1043-2760(01)00436-2.


Clinical and experimental data have established that the leading cause of sporadic female breast cancer is exposure to estrogens, predominantly 17beta-estradiol. Recent advances in the understanding of cell-cycle control mechanisms have been applied to outline the molecular mechanisms through which estrogens regulate the cell cycle in cultured breast cancer cells, in particular, in MCF-7 cells. Here, we discuss how estrogens exert control over several key G1 phase cell-cycle regulators, namely cyclin D1, Myc, Cdk2, Cdk4, Cdk inhibitors and Cdc25A. Although the molecular mechanisms underlying estrogenic regulation of G1 phase regulators are far from clear, current evidence indicates that estrogens might regulate several key molecules required for S phase entry, this regulation being independent of cell-cycle transit per se.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • CDC2-CDC28 Kinases*
  • Cell Cycle / drug effects
  • Cell Cycle / physiology*
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 2
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinases / metabolism
  • Cyclins / genetics
  • Cyclins / physiology
  • Estradiol / pharmacology
  • Estrogens / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism


  • Cyclins
  • Estrogens
  • Estradiol
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • CDC2-CDC28 Kinases
  • CDK2 protein, human
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 2
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinases