Aldo-keto reductase (AKR) 1C3 (type 5 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase and prostaglandin F synthase), may stimulate proliferation via steroid hormone and prostaglandin (PG) metabolism in the breast. Purified recombinant AKR1C3 reduces PGD(2) to 9alpha,11beta-PGF(2), Delta(4)-androstenedione to testosterone, progesterone to 20alpha-hydroxyprogesterone, and to a lesser extent, estrone to 17beta-estradiol. We established MCF-7 cells that stably express AKR1C3 (MCF-7-AKR1C3 cells) to model its over-expression in breast cancer. AKR1C3 expression increased steroid conversion by MCF-7 cells, leading to a pro-estrogenic state. Unexpectedly, estrone was reduced fastest by MCF-7-AKR1C3 cells when compared to other substrates at 0.1muM. MCF-7-AKR1C3 cells proliferated three times faster than parental cells in response to estrone and 17beta-estradiol. AKR1C3 therefore represents a potential target for attenuating estrogen receptor alpha induced proliferation. MCF-7-AKR1C3 cells also reduced PGD(2), limiting its dehydration to form PGJ(2) products. The AKR1C3 product was confirmed as 9alpha,11beta-PGF(2) and quantified with a stereospecific stable isotope dilution liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry method. This method will allow the examination of the role of AKR1C3 in endogenous prostaglandin formation in response to inflammatory stimuli. Expression of AKR1C3 reduced the anti-proliferative effects of PGD(2) on MCF-7 cells, suggesting that AKR1C3 limits peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma) signaling by reducing formation of 15-deoxy-Delta(12,14)-PGJ(2) (15dPGJ(2)).
Keywords: 17β-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase; estrogen receptor; peroxisome proliferator activated receptor γ; prostaglandin D2; prostaglandin F synthase.