Estradiol down-regulates CD36 expression in human breast cancer cells

Cancer Lett. 2004 Apr 15;207(1):101-7. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2003.10.021.


CD36 is a trans-membrane receptor that regulates apoptosis and angiogenesis in response to its ligand thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1). This study measures expression of CD36 and TSP-1 in breast cancer cell lines. Expression of TSP-1 was approximately 50-fold higher in the aggressive cell line MDA-MB-231 than in less aggressive MCF-7, BT-474, ZR-75 and T47-D cells. In contrast, MDA-MB-231 express 30 to 100-fold less CD36 than less aggressive cells. Hormone-dependent T47-D and MCF-7 cells down-regulate CD36 in response to estradiol, and anti-hormone ICI 182,780 block this effect. These results suggest that the estrogen receptors play a role in regulating CD36 expression and ICI 182,780 prevents loss of CD36 as a novel mechanism for its anti-estrogen effect in breast cancer cells.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal / pharmacology
  • Apoptosis
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • CD36 Antigens / biosynthesis*
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Down-Regulation*
  • Estradiol / analogs & derivatives*
  • Estradiol / pharmacology
  • Estradiol / physiology*
  • Female
  • Fulvestrant
  • Humans
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic
  • RNA / metabolism
  • Receptors, Progesterone / metabolism
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Thrombospondin 1 / metabolism
  • Time Factors


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal
  • CD36 Antigens
  • Receptors, Progesterone
  • Thrombospondin 1
  • Fulvestrant
  • Estradiol
  • RNA