Significance of HDAC6 regulation via estrogen signaling for cell motility and prognosis in estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer

Oncogene. 2005 Jun 30;24(28):4531-9. doi: 10.1038/sj.onc.1208646.


Histone deacetylase (HDAC) 6 is a subtype of the HDAC family; it deacetylates alpha-tubulin and increases cell motility. Here, we investigate the impact of an alteration of HDAC6 expression in estrogen receptor alpha (ER)-positive breast cancer MCF-7 cells, as we identified that HDAC6 is a novel estrogen-regulated gene. MCF-7 treated with estradiol showed increased expression of HDAC6 mRNA and protein and a four-fold increase in cell motility in a migration assay. Cell motility was increased to the same degree by stably transfecting the HDAC6 expression vector into MCF-7 cells. In both cases, the cells changed in appearance from their original round shape to an axon-extended shape, like a neuronal cell. This HDAC6 accumulation caused the deacetylation of alpha-tubulin. Either the selective estrogen receptor modulator tamoxifen (TAM) or the pure antiestrogen ICI 182,780 prevented estradiol-induced HDAC6 accumulation and deacetylation of alpha-tubulin, leading to reduced cell motility. Tubacin, an inhibitory molecule that binds to the tubulin deacetylation domain of HDAC6, also prevented estradiol-stimulated cell migration. Finally, we evaluated HDAC6 protein expression in 139 consecutively archived human breast cancer tissues by immunohistochemical staining. The prognostic analyses for these patients revealed no significant differences based on HDAC6 expression. However, subset analysis of ER-positive patients who received adjuvant treatment with TAM (n = 67) showed a statistically significant difference in relapse-free survival and overall survival in favor of the HDAC6-positive group (P < 0.02 and P < 0.05, respectively). HDAC6 expression was an independent prognostic indicator by multivariate analysis (odds ratio = 2.82, P = 0.047). These results indicate the biological significance of HDAC6 regulation via estrogen signaling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anilides / pharmacology
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic
  • Estradiol / analogs & derivatives*
  • Estradiol / pharmacology
  • Estrogen Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Estrogen Receptor alpha / drug effects
  • Estrogen Receptor alpha / metabolism
  • Estrogens / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Fulvestrant
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / drug effects
  • Histone Deacetylase 6
  • Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors
  • Histone Deacetylases / drug effects
  • Histone Deacetylases / genetics
  • Histone Deacetylases / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hydroxamic Acids / pharmacology
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Prognosis
  • Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators / pharmacology
  • Tamoxifen / pharmacology
  • Tubulin / metabolism


  • Anilides
  • Estrogen Antagonists
  • Estrogen Receptor alpha
  • Estrogens
  • Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors
  • Hydroxamic Acids
  • Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators
  • Tubulin
  • tubacin
  • Tamoxifen
  • Fulvestrant
  • Estradiol
  • HDAC6 protein, human
  • Histone Deacetylase 6
  • Histone Deacetylases