Estrogen receptor beta inhibits angiogenesis and growth of T47D breast cancer xenografts

Cancer Res. 2006 Dec 1;66(23):11207-13. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-06-0017.


Estrogens, which are stimulators of growth of both the normal breast and malignant breast, mediate their effects through two estrogen receptors (ER), namely ERalpha and ERbeta. ERalpha mediates the proliferative effect of estrogen in breast cancer cells, whereas ERbeta seems to be antiproliferative. We engineered ERalpha-positive T47D breast cancer cells to express ERbeta in a Tet-Off-regulated manner. These cells were then injected orthotopically into severe combined immunodeficient mice, and the growth of the resulting tumors was compared with tumors resulting from injecting the parental T47D cells that do not express ERbeta. The presence of ERbeta resulted in a reduction in tumor growth. Comparison of the ERbeta-expressing and non-ERbeta-expressing tumors revealed that the expression of ERbeta caused a reduction in the number of intratumoral blood vessels and a decrease in expression of the proangiogenic factors vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and platelet-derived growth factor beta (PDGFbeta). In cell culture, with the Tet-Off-regulated ERbeta-expressing cells, expression of ERbeta decreased expression of VEGF and PDGFbeta mRNA under normoxic as well as hypoxic conditions and reduced secreted VEGF and PDGFbeta proteins in cell culture medium. Transient transfection assays with 1,026 bp VEGF and 1,006 bp PDGFbeta promoter constructs revealed a repressive effect of ERbeta at the promoter level of these genes. Taken together, these data show that introduction of ERbeta into malignant cells inhibits their growth and prevents tumor expansion by inhibiting angiogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Hypoxia
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation*
  • Estrogen Receptor beta / analysis
  • Estrogen Receptor beta / genetics*
  • Estrogen Receptor beta / physiology
  • Female
  • Gene Expression / genetics
  • Genetic Therapy
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Ki-67 Antigen / analysis
  • Luciferases / genetics
  • Luciferases / metabolism
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / blood supply
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / pathology*
  • Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental / therapy
  • Mice
  • Mice, SCID
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / metabolism
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / pathology*
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / physiopathology
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-sis / genetics
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / metabolism
  • Time Factors
  • Transfection
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / genetics
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays*


  • Estrogen Receptor beta
  • Ki-67 Antigen
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-sis
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Luciferases