The interaction between ER and NFκB in resistance to endocrine therapy

Breast Cancer Res. 2012 Aug 31;14(4):212. doi: 10.1186/bcr3196.


Endocrine therapy is a commonly used treatment for estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer. Although endocrine therapy has a favorable outcome in many patients, development of resistance is common. Recent studies have shown that NFκB, a transcription factor regulating a wide variety of cellular processes, might play a role in the development of endocrine resistance. The precise interaction between ER and NFκB and how this contributes to the attenuated responsiveness of ER-positive breast cancer cells to hormonal treatment remains unclear. This review provides an overview of the mechanisms of action for both transcription factors and focuses on the current knowledge explaining how ER and NFκB affect each other's activity and how this cross-talk might contribute to the development of an endocrine resistance phenotype in breast cancer cells.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal / therapeutic use*
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • NF-kappa B / antagonists & inhibitors
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism*
  • Protein Binding
  • Receptors, Estrogen / metabolism*


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal
  • NF-kappa B
  • Receptors, Estrogen