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    6-Formylindolo[3,2-b]carbazole (FICZ) Enhances The Expression of Tumor Suppressor miRNAs, miR-22, miR-515-5p, and miR-124-3p in MCF-7 Cells. Mobini Keivan,Banakar Elham,Tamaddon Gholamhossein,Mohammadi-Bardbori Afshin Cell journal Objective:microRNAs (miRNAs) play bifunctional roles in the initiation and progression of cancer, and recent evidence has confirmed that unusual expression of miRNAs is required for the progress of breast cancer. The regulatory role of aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) and its endogenous ligand, 6-formylindolo[3,2-b]carbazole (FICZ) on the expression of tumor suppressor miRNAs, miR-22, miR-515-5p and miR-124-3p, as well as their association with the estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) were the aims of this study. Materials and Methods:In this experimental study, the expression levels of and in MCF-7 cells were determined using the quantificational real time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) assay. Results:Our results revealed that and expressions were significantly increased in cells transfected with ERα siRNA. Our data also showed that and expression levels were significantly increased following FICZ treatment. Here, we found that AhR/ERα cross-talk plays a critical role in the expression of and in MCF-7 cells. Conclusion:Overall, our data demonstrated that FICZ, as an AhR agonist could induce the expression of tumor suppressor miRNAs, and ; thus, FICZ might be regarded as a potential therapeutic agent for breast cancer treatment. 10.22074/cellj.2020.6549
    Aryl hydrocarbon-estrogen alpha receptor-dependent expression of miR-206, miR-27b, and miR-133a suppress cell proliferation and migration in MCF-7 cells. Mobini Keivan,Tamaddon Gholamhossein,Fardid Reza,Keshavarzi Majid,Mohammadi-Bardbori Afshin Journal of biochemical and molecular toxicology The underlying functions of miR-206, miR-133a, miR-27b, and miR-21, and their link to the estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) and aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) signaling pathways remain largely unexplored. In this study, we detect the expression of miR-206, miR-133a, miR-27b, and miR-21 in MCF-7 through quantificational real-time polymerase chain reaction assay along with the activation/inhibition of ERα and AhR receptors. Aside from this, cell proliferation and migration as well as AhR-dependent CYP1A1 enzyme activity were measured. Here, we found that the forced increased expression of miR-206, miR-133a, and miR-27b were closely associated with the suppression of MCF-7 cell proliferation and migration. The anti-proliferative-metastatic effect of miR-206, miR-133a, and miR-27b was probably mediated by targeting the ERα and AhR signaling pathways. Considered together, our study indicated that the overexpression of miR-206, miR-133a, and miR-27b might be potential biomarkers for prognosis and therapeutic strategies in breast cancer. 10.1002/jbt.22304
    Estrogen receptor-α and aryl hydrocarbon receptor involvement in the actions of botanical estrogens in target cells. Gong Ping,Madak-Erdogan Zeynep,Flaws Jodi A,Shapiro David J,Katzenellenbogen John A,Katzenellenbogen Benita S Molecular and cellular endocrinology Botanical estrogen (BE) dietary supplements are consumed by women as substitutes for loss of endogenous estrogens at menopause. To examine the roles of estrogen receptor α (ERα) and aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) and their crosstalk in the actions of BEs, we studied gene regulation and proliferation responses to four widely used BEs, genistein, daidzein, and S-equol from soy, and liquiritigen from licorice root in breast cancer and liver cells. BEs and estradiol (E2), acting through ERα, stimulated proliferation, ERα chromatin binding and target-gene expression. BEs but not E2, acting through AhR, bound to xenobiotic response element-containing chromatin sites and enhanced AhR target-gene expression (CYP1A1, CYP1B1). While E2 and TCDD acted quite selectively through their respective receptors, BEs acted via both receptors, with their AhR activity moderated by negative crosstalk through ERα. Both ERα and AhR should be considered as mediators of the biology and pharmacology of BEs. 10.1016/j.mce.2016.08.025
    Ethanol potentiates the genotoxicity of the food-derived mammary carcinogen PhIP in human estrogen receptor-positive mammary cells: mechanistic support for lifestyle factors (cooked red meat and ethanol) associated with mammary cancer. Malik Durr-E-Shahwar,David Rhiannon M,Gooderham Nigel J Archives of toxicology Consumption of cooked/processed meat and ethanol are lifestyle risk factors in the aetiology of breast cancer. Cooking meat generates heterocyclic amines such as 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine (PhIP). Epidemiology, mechanistic and animal studies indicate that PhIP is a mammary carcinogen that could be causally linked to breast cancer incidence; PhIP is DNA damaging, mutagenic and oestrogenic. PhIP toxicity involves cytochrome P450 (CYP1 family)-mediated metabolic activation to DNA-damaging species, and transcriptional responses through Aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) and estrogen-receptor-α (ER-α). Ethanol consumption is a modifiable lifestyle factor strongly associated with breast cancer risk. Ethanol toxicity involves alcohol dehydrogenase metabolism to reactive acetaldehyde, and is also a substrate for CYP2E1, which when uncoupled generates reactive oxygen species (ROS) and DNA damage. Here, using human mammary cells that differ in estrogen-receptor status, we explore genotoxicity of PhIP and ethanol and mechanisms behind this toxicity. Treatment with PhIP (10-10 M) significantly induced genotoxicity (micronuclei formation) preferentially in ER-α positive human mammary cell lines (MCF-7, ER-α+) compared to MDA-MB-231 (ER-α-) cells. PhIP-induced CYP1A2 in both cell lines but CYP1B1 was selectively induced in ER-α(+) cells. ER-α inhibition in MCF-7 cells attenuated PhIP-mediated micronuclei formation and CYP1B1 induction. PhIP-induced CYP2E1 and ROS via ER-α-STAT-3 pathway, but only in ER-α (+) MCF-7 cells. Importantly, simultaneous treatments of physiological concentrations ethanol (10-10 M) with PhIP (10-10 M) increased oxidative stress and genotoxicity in MCF-7 cells, compared to the individual chemicals. Collectively, these data offer a mechanistic basis for the increased risk of breast cancer associated with dietary cooked meat and ethanol lifestyle choices. 10.1007/s00204-018-2160-9
    Cyp2a5 Promoter-based Gene Reporter Assay: A Novel Design of Cell-based Bioassay for Toxicity Prediction. Abu-Bakar A'edah,Hu Hao,Lang Matti A Basic & clinical pharmacology & toxicology The murine cytochrome P450 2a5 (Cyp2a5) gene is regulated by complex interactions of various stress-activated transcription factors (TFs). Elevated Cyp2a5 transcription under chemical-induced stress conditions is achieved by interplay between the various TFs - including as aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) and nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 wild-type (Nrf2) - at the 'stress-responding' cluster of response elements on the Cyp2a5 promoter, as well as through mRNA stabilization mediated by interaction of the stress-activated heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A1 (hnRNP A1) with the 3'-UTR of the CYP2A5 mRNA. We designed a unique toxicity pathway-based reporter assay to include regulatory regions from both the 5' and the 3' untranslated regions of Cyp2a5 in a luciferase reporter plasmid to reflect in vivo responses to chemical insult. Human breast cancer MCF-7 cells were stably transfected with pGL4.38-Cyp2a5_Wt3k (wild-type) or mutant - pGL4.38-Cyp2a5_StREMut and pGL4.38-Cyp2a5_XREMut - reporter gene to monitor chemical-induced cellular response mediated by AhR and Nrf2 signalling. The recombinant cells were treated with representative of AhR agonist, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, brominated flame retardant, fluorosurfactant, aromatic organic compound and metal, to determine the sensitivity of the Cyp2a5 promoter-based gene reporter assays to chemical insults by measuring the LC and EC of the respective chemicals. The three assays are sensitive to sublethal cellular responses of chemicals, which is an ideal feature for toxicity pathway-based bioassay for toxicity prediction. The wild-type reporter responded well to chemicals that activate crosstalk between the AhR and Nrf2, whilst the mutant reporters effectively gauge cellular response driven by either Nrf2/StRE or AhR/XRE signalling. Thus, the three gene reporter assays could be used tandemly to determine the predominant toxicity pathway of a given compound. 10.1111/bcpt.13046
    A Molecular Mechanism To Switch the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor from a Transcription Factor to an E3 Ubiquitin Ligase. Luecke-Johansson Sandra,Gralla Michael,Rundqvist Helene,Ho Jolene Caifeng,Johnson Randall S,Gradin Katarina,Poellinger Lorenz Molecular and cellular biology The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) is a ligand-activated transcription factor that is known as a mediator of toxic responses. Recently, it was shown that the AhR has dual functions. Besides being a transcription factor, it also possesses an intrinsic E3 ubiquitin ligase function that targets, e.g., the steroid receptors for proteasomal degradation. The aim of this study was to identify the molecular switch that determines whether the AhR acts as a transcription factor or an E3 ubiquitin ligase. To do this, we used the breast cancer cell line MCF7, which expresses a functional estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) signaling pathway. Our data suggest that aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator (ARNT) plays an important role in the modulation of the dual functions of the AhR. ARNT knockdown dramatically impaired the transcriptional activation properties of the ligand-activated AhR but did not affect its E3 ubiquitin ligase function. The availability of ARNT itself is modulated by another basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH)-Per-ARNT-SIM (PAS) protein, the repressor of AhR function (AhRR). MCF7 cells overexpressing the AhRR showed lower ERα protein levels, reduced responsiveness to estradiol, and reduced growth rates. Importantly, when these cells were used to produce estrogen-dependent xenograft tumors in SCID mice, we also observed lower ERα protein levels and a reduced tumor mass, implying a tumor-suppressive-like function of the AhR in MCF7 xenograft tumors. 10.1128/MCB.00630-16
    Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor-Dependent Metabolism Plays a Significant Role in Estrogen-Like Effects of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons on Cell Proliferation. Hýžd'alová Martina,Pivnicka Jakub,Zapletal Ondrej,Vázquez-Gómez Gerardo,Matthews Jason,Neca Jirí,Pencíková Katerina,Machala Miroslav,Vondrácek Jan Toxicological sciences : an official journal of the Society of Toxicology Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are widespread environmental contaminants that interact in a complex manner with both the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) and estrogen receptors (ER). Their potential endocrine-disrupting activities may depend on both inhibitory AhR-ER cross-talk and on AhR-dependent metabolic production of estrogenic PAH metabolites. Here, we analyzed the impact of AhR on estrogen-like effects of PAHs, such as benzo[a]pyrene (BaP), in particular, on control of cell cycle progression/cell proliferation. Using AhR knockout variant of estrogen-sensitive human breast cancer MCF-7 cells (MCF-7 AhRKO cells), we observed that the AhR-dependent control of cytochrome P450 family 1 (CYP1) expression played a major role in formation of estrogenic BaP metabolites, most notably 3-OH-BaP, which contributed to the ER-dependent induction of cell cycle progression/cell proliferation. Both BaP metabolism and the BaP-induced S-phase transition/cell proliferation were inhibited in MCF-7 AhRKO cells, whereas these cells remained sensitive towards both endogenous estrogen 17β-estradiol or hydroxylated BaP metabolites. BaP was found to increase the activity of ER-dependent luciferase reporter gene in wild-type MCF-7 cells; however, unlike its hydroxylated metabolite, BaP failed to stimulate luciferase activity in MCF-7 AhRKO cells. Similarly, estrogen-like effects of other known estrogenic PAHs, such as benz[a]anthracene or 3-methylcholanthrene, were diminished in MCF-7 AhRKO cells. Ectopic expression of human CYP1A1 and CYP1B1 enzymes partly restored both BaP metabolism and its effects on cell proliferation. Taken together, our data suggest that the AhR-dependent metabolism of PAHs contributes significantly to the impact of PAHs on cell proliferation in estrogen-sensitive cells. 10.1093/toxsci/kfy153
    The role of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor in the development of cells with the molecular and functional characteristics of cancer stem-like cells. Stanford Elizabeth A,Wang Zhongyan,Novikov Olga,Mulas Francesca,Landesman-Bollag Esther,Monti Stefano,Smith Brenden W,Seldin David C,Murphy George J,Sherr David H BMC biology BACKGROUND:Self-renewing, chemoresistant breast cancer stem cells are believed to contribute significantly to cancer invasion, migration and patient relapse. Therefore, the identification of signaling pathways that regulate the acquisition of stem-like qualities is an important step towards understanding why patients relapse and towards development of novel therapeutics that specifically target cancer stem cell vulnerabilities. Recent studies identified a role for the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR), an environmental carcinogen receptor implicated in cancer initiation, in normal tissue-specific stem cell self-renewal. These studies inspired the hypothesis that the AHR plays a role in the acquisition of cancer stem cell-like qualities. RESULTS:To test this hypothesis, AHR activity in Hs578T triple negative and SUM149 inflammatory breast cancer cells were modulated with AHR ligands, shRNA or AHR-specific inhibitors, and phenotypic, genomic and functional stem cell-associated characteristics were evaluated. The data demonstrate that (1) ALDH(high) cells express elevated levels of Ahr and Cyp1b1 and Cyp1a1, AHR-driven genes, (2) AHR knockdown reduces ALDH activity by 80%, (3) AHR hyper-activation with several ligands, including environmental ligands, significantly increases ALDH1 activity, expression of stem cell- and invasion/migration-associated genes, and accelerates cell migration, (4) a significant correlation between Ahr or Cyp1b1 expression (as a surrogate marker for AHR activity) and expression of stem cell- and invasion/migration-associated gene sets is seen with genomic data obtained from 79 human breast cancer cell lines and over 1,850 primary human breast cancers, (5) the AHR interacts directly with Sox2, a master regulator of self-renewal; AHR ligands increase this interaction and nuclear SOX2 translocation, (6) AHR knockdown inhibits tumorsphere formation in low adherence conditions, (7) AHR inhibition blocks the rapid migration of ALDH(high) cells and reduces ALDH(high) cell chemoresistance, (8) ALDH(high) cells are highly efficient at initiating tumors in orthotopic xenografts, and (9) AHR knockdown inhibits tumor initiation and reduces tumor Aldh1a1, Sox2, and Cyp1b1 expression in vivo. CONCLUSIONS:These data suggest that the AHR plays an important role in development of cells with cancer stem cell-like qualities and that environmental AHR ligands may exacerbate breast cancer by enhancing expression of these properties. 10.1186/s12915-016-0240-y
    Towards Resolving the Pro- and Anti-Tumor Effects of the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor. Narasimhan Supraja,Stanford Zulick Elizabeth,Novikov Olga,Parks Ashley J,Schlezinger Jennifer J,Wang Zhongyan,Laroche Fabrice,Feng Hui,Mulas Francesca,Monti Stefano,Sherr David H International journal of molecular sciences We have postulated that the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) drives the later, more lethal stages of some cancers when chronically activated by endogenous ligands. However, other studies have suggested that, under some circumstances, the AHR can oppose tumor aggression. Resolving this apparent contradiction is critical to the design of AHR-targeted cancer therapeutics. Molecular (siRNA, shRNA, AHR repressor, CRISPR-Cas9) and pharmacological (AHR inhibitors) approaches were used to confirm the hypothesis that AHR inhibition reduces human cancer cell invasion (irregular colony growth in 3D Matrigel cultures and Boyden chambers), migration (scratch wound assay) and metastasis (human cancer cell xenografts in zebrafish). Furthermore, these assays were used for a head-to-head comparison between AHR antagonists and agonists. AHR inhibition or knockdown/knockout consistently reduced human ER/PR/Her2 and inflammatory breast cancer cell invasion, migration, and metastasis. This was associated with a decrease in invasion-associated genes (e.g., , , Thrombospondin, ) and an increase in , previously associated with decreased tumor aggression. Paradoxically, AHR agonists (2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo--dioxin and/or 3,3′-diindolylmethane) similarly inhibited irregular colony formation in Matrigel and blocked metastasis in vivo but accelerated migration. These data demonstrate the complexity of modulating AHR activity in cancer while suggesting that AHR inhibitors, and, under some circumstances, AHR agonists, may be useful as cancer therapeutics. 10.3390/ijms19051388
    Effect of dioxin and 17β-estradiol on the expression of cytochrome P450 1A1 gene via an estrogen receptor dependent pathway in cellular and xenografted models. Go Ryeo-Eun,Hwang Kyung-A,Kim Cho-Won,Byun Yong-Sub,Nam Ki-Hoan,Choi Kyung-Chul Environmental toxicology Cytochrome P450 (CYP) 1A1 plays a major role in the metabolic activation of procarcinogens to carcinogens via aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) pathway. Especially, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) is known as an agonist of AhR. In estrogen responsive cancers, 17β-estradiol (E2) may influence on AhR dependent expression of CYP1 family via the interaction between estrogen receptor (ER) and AhR. In the present study, the effect of E2/ER on the expression of AhR and CYP1A1 genes was investigated for MCF-7 clonal variant (MCF-7 CV) breast cancer cells expressing ER. In reverse transcription-PCR and Western blot analysis, mRNA expression level of AhR was not altered, but its protein expression level was increased by TCDD or E2. The transcriptional and translational levels of CYP1A1 appeared to be increased by TCDD or E2. The increased expression of AhR and CYP1A1 induced by E2 was restored to the control level by the co-treatment of ICI 182,780, indicating that E2 induced the protein expression levels of AhR and CYP1A1 like TCDD via an ER dependent pathway. In an in vivo xenograft mouse model transplanted with MCF-7 CV cells, the protein expression levels of AhR and CYP1A1 of tumor masses were also increased by E2 or TCDD. Taken together, these results indicate that E2 may promote AhR dependent expression of CYP1A1 via ER dependent pathway in MCF-7 CV cells expressing ER in the absence of TCDD, an agonist of AhR. The relevance of E2 and ER in CYP1A1 activation of estrogen responsive cancers may be targeted for developing more effective cancer treatments. 10.1002/tox.22438
    Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Activates NDRG1 Transcription under Hypoxia in Breast Cancer Cells. Li En-Yu,Huang Wei-Yung,Chang Ya-Chu,Tsai Mong-Hsun,Chuang Eric Y,Kuok Qian-Yu,Bai Shih-Ting,Chao Lo-Yun,Sher Yuh-Pyng,Lai Liang-Chuan Scientific reports Hypoxia has been intensively investigated over the past several decades based on the observations that hypoxic tumors are more resistant to therapy and have a worse prognosis. Previously, we reported that N-myc downstream-regulated gene 1 (NDRG1) is strongly up-regulated under hypoxia and may play an important role in tumor adaptation to fluctuating oxygen concentrations. However, the regulatory mechanism of NDRG1 under hypoxia remains elusive. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to identify the transcription factors that regulate NDRG1 and to investigate the functional roles of NDRG1 in hypoxia. We showed that binding sites of aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) were predicted in the NDRG1 promoter. Nuclear AHR was up-regulated in the presence of cobalt and hypoxia. AHR translocated to nuclei and bound between base pairs -412 and -388 of the NDRG1 promoter in hypoxia. Moreover, hypoxia-mimetic induction of NDRG1 was attenuated by knockdown of AHR expression. Also, overexpression of AHR facilitated cell proliferation and migration via up-regulation of NDRG1. These results showed for the first time that AHR positively regulates NDRG1 transcription through an AHR binding site by way of hypoxia-mimetic signaling, which may lead to development of a specific therapeutic regimen to prevent tumor malignancy under hypoxia. 10.1038/srep20808
    Molecular Mechanisms of Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (BDE-47, BDE-100, and BDE-153) in Human Breast Cancer Cells and Patient-Derived Xenografts. Kanaya Noriko,Bernal Lauren,Chang Gregory,Yamamoto Takuro,Nguyen Duc,Wang Yuan-Zhong,Park June-Soo,Warden Charles,Wang Jinhui,Wu Xiwei,Synold Timothy,Rakoff Michele,Neuhausen Susan L,Chen Shiuan Toxicological sciences : an official journal of the Society of Toxicology Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) have been used as flame retardants in household materials. Their environmental persistence has led to continuous human exposure and significant tissue levels. Three PBDE congeners (BDE-47, BDE-100, and BDE-153) have been frequently detected in human serum. Although these compounds appear to possess endocrine disrupting activity, studies are largely missing to determine the biological mechanisms of PBDEs in breast cancer cells. Here, we assessed PBDE bioactivities with three complementary strategies: receptor binding/activity assays; nonbiased RNA-sequencing analysis using an estrogen-dependent breast cancer cell line MCF-7aroERE; and in vivo assessments using patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models of human breast cancer. According to the results from in vitro experiments, the PBDE congeners regulate distinct nuclear receptor signaling pathways. BDE-47 acts as a weak agonist of both estrogen receptor α (ERα) and estrogen-related receptor α (ERRα); it could stimulate proliferation of MCF-7aroERE and induced expression of ER-regulated genes (including cell cycle genes). BDE-153 was found to act as a weak antagonist of ERα. BDE-100 could act as (1) an agonist of aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), inducing expression of CYP1A1 and CYP1B1 and (2) as a very weak agonist/antagonist of ERα. In vivo, a mixture of the three congeners with ratios detected in human serum was tested in an ER+ PDX model. The mixture exhibited estrogenic activity through apoptosis/cell cycle regulation and increased the expression of a proliferation marker, Ki-67. These results advance our understanding of the mechanisms of PBDE exposure in breast cancer cells. 10.1093/toxsci/kfz054
    Berberine Activates Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor but Suppresses CYP1A1 Induction through miR-21-3p Stimulation in MCF-7 Breast Cancer Cells. Lo Sheng-Nan,Wang Chun-Wei,Chen Yueh-Shieh,Huang Chiung-Chiao,Wu Tian-Shung,Li Lih-Ann,Lee I-Jung,Ueng Yune-Fang Molecules (Basel, Switzerland) Berberine and the methylenedioxy ring-opening derivatives palmatine and jatrorrhizine are active ingredients in immunomodulatory plants, such as goldenseal. This study aimed to illustrate the effects of protoberberines on aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) activation and cytochrome P450 (CYP) 1 in the estrogen receptor (ER)α(+) MCF-7 breast cancer cells. Among protoberberines at non-cytotoxic concentrations (≤10 μM), berberine had the most potent and statistically significant effects on AhR activation and CYP1A1/1A2/1B1 mRNA induction. The 24-h exposure to 10 μM berberine did not change CYP1A1 mRNA stability, protein level and function. Berberine significantly increased micro RNA (miR)-21-3p by 36% and the transfection of an inhibitor of miR-21-3p restored the induction of CYP1A1 protein with a 50% increase. These findings demonstrate that the ring opening of the methylenedioxyl moiety in berberine decreased AhR activation in MCF-7 cells. While CYP1A1 mRNA was elevated, berberine-induced miR-21-3p suppressed the increase of functional CYP1A1 protein expression. 10.3390/molecules22111847
    CYP1A2--a novel genetic marker for early aromatase inhibitor response in the treatment of breast cancer patients. Simonsson Maria,Veerla Srinivas,Markkula Andrea,Rose Carsten,Ingvar Christian,Jernström Helena BMC cancer BACKGROUND:Endocrine resistance is a major obstacle to optimal treatment effect in breast cancer. Some genetic markers have been proposed to predict response to aromatase inhibitors (AIs) but the data is insufficient. The aim of the study was to find new genetic treatment predictive markers of AIs. METHODS:The ongoing population-based BC-blood study in Lund, Sweden includes women with primary breast cancer. This paper is based on AI-treated patients with estrogen receptor positive tumors who underwent breast cancer surgery in 2002-2008. First, an exploratory analysis of 1931 SNPs in 227 genes involved in absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination of multiple medications, using DMET™ chips, was conducted in a subset of the cohort with last follow-up in December 31st 2011 (13 cases, 11 controls). Second, selected SNPs from the first analysis were re-analyzed concerning risk for early breast cancer events in the extended cohort of 201 AI-treated with last follow-up in June 30th 2014. Clinical data were obtained from medical records and population registries. RESULTS:Only CYP1A2 rs762551 C-allele was significantly associated with increased risk for early events in the 24 patients (P = 0.0007) and in the extended cohort, adjusted Hazard ratio (HR) 2.22 (95% CI 1.03-4.80). However, the main prognostic impact was found within five years, adjusted HR 7.88 (95% CI 2.13-29.19). The impact of the CYP1A2 rs762551 C-allele was modified by a functional polymorphism in the regulator gene AhR Arg554Lys (G > A). Compared to patients who were homozygous for the major allele in both genes (CYP1A2 A/A and AhR G/G), a 9-fold risk for early events was found in patients who had at least one minor allele in both genes, adjusted HR 8.95 (95% CI 2.55-31.35), whereas patients with at least one minor allele in either but not both genes had a 3-fold risk for early events, adjusted HR 2.81 (95% CI 1.07-7.33). The impact of CYP1A2 rs762551 C-allele was also modified by the CYP19A1 rs4646 C/C, adjusted HR 3.39 (95% CI 1.60-7.16) for this combination. This association was strongest within the first five years, adjusted HR 10.42 (95% CI 3.45-31.51). CONCLUSION:CYP1A2 rs762551 was identified as a new potential predictive marker for early breast cancer events in AI-treated breast cancer patients. Moreover, combined genotypes of CYP1A2 rs762551 and CYP19A1 rs4646 or AhR Arg554Lys could further improve prediction of early AI-treatment response. If confirmed, these results may provide a way to more personalized medicine. 10.1186/s12885-016-2284-3
    Putative tumor suppressor cytoglobin promotes aryl hydrocarbon receptor ligand-mediated triple negative breast cancer cell death. Rowland Leah K,Campbell Petreena S,Mavingire Nicole,Wooten Jonathan V,McLean Lancelot,Zylstra Dain,Thorne Gabriell,Daly Devin,Boyle Kristopher,Whang Sonya,Unternaehrer Juli,Brantley Eileen J Journal of cellular biochemistry Nearly 40 000 women die annually from breast cancer in the United States. Clinically available targeted breast cancer therapy is largely ineffective in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), characterized by tumors that lack expression of the estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (Her2). TNBC is associated with a poor prognosis. Previous reports show that aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) partial agonist 2-(4-amino-3-methylphenyl)-5-fluorobenzothiazole (5F 203) selectively inhibits the growth of breast cancer cells, including those of the TNBC subtype. We previously demonstrated that 5F 203 induced the expression of putative tumor suppressor gene cytoglobin (CYGB) in breast cancer cells. In the current study, we determined that 5F 203 induces apoptosis and caspase-3 activation in MDA-MB-468 TNBC cells and in T47D ER PR Her2 breast cancer cells. We also show that caspases and CYGB promote 5F 203-mediated apoptosis in MDA-MB-468 cells. 5F 203 induced lysosomal membrane permeabilization (LMP) and cathepsin B release in MDA-MB-468 and T47D cells. In addition, silencing CYGB attenuated the ability of 5F 203 to induce caspase-3/-7 activation, proapoptotic gene expression, LMP, and cathepsin B release in MDA-MB-468 cells. Moreover, 5F 203 induced CYGB protein expression, proapoptotic protein expression, and caspase-3 cleavage in MDA-MB-468 cells and in MDA-MB-468 xenograft tumors grown orthotopically in athymic mice. These data provide a basis for the development of AhR ligands with the potential to restore CYGB expression as a novel strategy to treat TNBC. 10.1002/jcb.27887
    An Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor-Mediated Amplification Loop That Enforces Cell Migration in ER-/PR-/Her2- Human Breast Cancer Cells. Novikov Olga,Wang Zhongyan,Stanford Elizabeth A,Parks Ashley J,Ramirez-Cardenas Alejandra,Landesman Esther,Laklouk Israa,Sarita-Reyes Carmen,Gusenleitner Daniel,Li Amy,Monti Stefano,Manteiga Sara,Lee Kyongbum,Sherr David H Molecular pharmacology The endogenous ligand-activated aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) plays an important role in numerous biologic processes. As the known number of AHR-mediated processes grows, so too does the importance of determining what endogenous AHR ligands are produced, how their production is regulated, and what biologic consequences ensue. Consequently, our studies were designed primarily to determine whether ER/PR/Her2 breast cancer cells have the potential to produce endogenous AHR ligands and, if so, how production of these ligands is controlled. We postulated that: 1) malignant cells produce tryptophan-derived AHR ligand(s) through the kynurenine pathway; 2) these metabolites have the potential to drive AHR-dependent breast cancer migration; 3) the AHR controls expression of a rate-limiting kynurenine pathway enzyme(s) in a closed amplification loop; and 4) environmental AHR ligands mimic the effects of endogenous ligands. Data presented in this work indicate that primary human breast cancers, and their metastases, express high levels of AHR and tryptophan-2,3-dioxygenase (TDO); representative ER/PR/Her2 cell lines express TDO and produce sufficient intracellular kynurenine and xanthurenic acid concentrations to chronically activate the AHR. TDO overexpression, or excess kynurenine or xanthurenic acid, accelerates migration in an AHR-dependent fashion. Environmental AHR ligands 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo[p]dioxin and benzo[a]pyrene mimic this effect. AHR knockdown or inhibition significantly reduces TDO2 expression. These studies identify, for the first time, a positive amplification loop in which AHR-dependent TDO2 expression contributes to endogenous AHR ligand production. The net biologic effect of AHR activation by endogenous ligands, which can be mimicked by environmental ligands, is an increase in tumor cell migration, a measure of tumor aggressiveness. 10.1124/mol.116.105361
    The Impact of Diabetes on Breast Cancer Treatments and Outcomes: A Population-Based Study. Lega Iliana C,Austin Peter C,Fischer Hadas D,Fung Kinwah,Krzyzanowska Monika K,Amir Eitan,Lipscombe Lorraine L Diabetes care OBJECTIVE:Women with breast cancer and diabetes face worse outcomes than those with breast cancer without diabetes; however, the contribution of comorbidity to these disparities remains unclear. We evaluated the impact of diabetes on receipt of cancer treatments as well as mortality while accounting for other comorbidities. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS:Ontario administrative databases were used to compare the rate of receipt of breast cancer treatments between women with and without diabetes. We also performed adjusted cause-specific hazard models to account for comorbidities when evaluating differences in treatments received and mortality outcomes between the two groups. RESULTS:Women with diabetes and stage III breast cancer were slightly less likely to receive chemotherapy (relative risk [RR] 0.93 [95% CI 0.89-0.97]), although this difference was not significant when we adjusted for comorbidities (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] 1.03 [95% CI 0.93-1.13]). We saw similar trends for receipt of guideline-adherent radiotherapy (RR 0.97 [0.95-0.99], aHR 0.98 [0.94-1.02]). All-cause mortality was increased in women with diabetes after adjusting for comorbidities (aHR 1.16 [1.06-1.27]), but breast cancer-specific mortality was not increased overall. Women with a longer duration of diabetes and those with preexisting cardiovascular disease had increased all-cause and cancer-specific mortality. CONCLUSIONS:Although cancer treatments received were similar between women with and without diabetes, breast cancer-specific mortality remains higher among women with diabetes who have longer diabetes duration or preexisting cardiovascular disease. This study uncovers new information about key risk factors for poorer prognosis in women with diabetes and breast cancer. 10.2337/dc17-2012
    Aryl hydrocarbon receptor counteracts pharmacological efficacy of doxorubicin via enhanced AKR1C3 expression in triple negative breast cancer cells. Yamashita Naoya,Kanno Yuichiro,Saito Nao,Terai Kensuke,Sanada Noriko,Kizu Ryoichi,Hiruta Nobuyuki,Park Youngjin,Bujo Hideaki,Nemoto Kiyomitsu Biochemical and biophysical research communications Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is associated with poor prognosis, because of no effective targeted therapy. In the present study, we demonstrated the crucial role of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) in mediating the effects of the chemotherapeutic agent doxorubicin (DOX) in the chemotherapeutic sensitivity of TNBC. Firstly, we established AhR knockout (KO) MDA-MB 231 TNBC cells. The cytotoxic effects of DOX were more pronounced in AhR KO cells than in parental cells. In addition, our results indicated that AhR KO cells showed downregulated expression of DOX-metabolism enzyme, aldo-keto reductase (AKR) 1C3, relative to those of parental cells. Furthermore, AhR was found to enhance AKR1C3 promoter reporter activity, suggesting that AKR1C3 mRNA transcription is activated by AhR. Additionally, our findings confirmed that the downregulation of AKR1C3 expression enhanced DOX sensitivity in MDA-MB 231 cells. Finally, AhR and AKR1C3 expression were positively correlated in human breast cancer. Taken together, our results suggested that AhR is involved in DOX sensitivity by regulating AKR1C3 expression in TNBC cells. 10.1016/j.bbrc.2019.06.119
    Novel Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Agonist Suppresses Migration and Invasion of Breast Cancer Cells. Hanieh Hamza,Mohafez Omar,Hairul-Islam Villianur Ibrahim,Alzahrani Abdullah,Bani Ismail Mohammad,Thirugnanasambantham Krishnaraj PloS one BACKGROUND:Despite the remarkable progress to fight against breast cancer, metastasis remains the dominant cause of treatment failure and recurrence. Therefore, control of invasiveness potential of breast cancer cells is crucial. Accumulating evidences suggest Aryl hydrocarbon receptor (Ahr), a helix-loop-helix transcription factor, as a promising target to control migration and invasion in breast cancer cells. Thus, an Ahr-based exploration was performed to identify a new Ahr agonist with inhibitory potentials on cancer cell motility. METHODS:For prediction of potential interactions between Ahr and candidate molecules, bioinformatics analysis was carried out. The interaction of the selected ligand with Ahr and its effects on migration and invasion were examined in vitro using the MDA-MB-231 and T47D cell lines. The silencing RNAs were transfected into cells by electroporation. Expressions of microRNAs (miRNAs) and coding genes were quantified by real-time PCR, and the protein levels were detected by western blot. RESULTS:The in silico and in vitro results identified Flavipin as a novel Ahr agonist. It induces formation of Ahr/Ahr nuclear translocator (Arnt) heterodimer to promote the expression of cytochrome P450 family 1 subfamily A member 1 (Cyp1a1). Migration and invasion of MDA-MB-231 and T47D cells were inhibited with Flavipin treatment in an Ahr-dependent fashion. Interestingly, Flavipin suppressed the pro-metastatic factor SRY-related HMG-box4 (Sox4) by inducing miR-212/132 cluster. Moreover, Flavipin inhibited growth and adhesion of both cell lines by suppressing gene expressions of B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl2) and integrinα4 (ITGA4). CONCLUSION:Taken together, the results introduce Flavipin as a novel Ahr agonist, and provide first evidences on its inhibitory effects on cancer cell motility, suggesting Flavipin as a candidate to control cell invasiveness in breast cancer patients. 10.1371/journal.pone.0167650
    Resveratrol and its methoxy derivatives modulate the expression of estrogen metabolism enzymes in breast epithelial cells by AhR down-regulation. Licznerska Barbara,Szaefer Hanna,Wierzchowski Marcin,Sobierajska Hanna,Baer-Dubowska Wanda Molecular and cellular biochemistry Our earlier studies have shown that compared to resveratrol, its analogs with ortho-methoxy substituents exert stronger antiproliferative and proapoptotic activity. Since estrogens are considered the major risk factors of breast carcinogenesis, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of 3,4,2'-trimethoxy (3MS), 3,4,2',4'-tetramethoxy (4MS), and 3,4,2',4',6'-pentamethoxy (5MS) trans-stilbenes on the constitutive expression of the enzymes involved in estrogen metabolism, as well as receptors: AhR and HER2 in breast epithelial cell line MCF10A. The results showed different effect of resveratrol and its methoxy derivatives on the expression of genes encoding key enzymes of estrogen synthesis and catabolism. Resveratrol at the doses of 1 and 5 µmol/L increased the level of CYP19 transcript and protein level, while 5MS reduced mRNA transcript of both CYP19 and STS genes. Resveratrol and all its derivatives reduced also SULT1E1 mRNA transcript level. The reduced expression of AhR, CYP1A1, and 1B1 was also found as a result of treatment with these compounds. The most significant changes were found in the case of AhR. The most potent inhibitor of CYP1A1 and 1B1 genes expression was 5MS, which reduced the levels of mRNA transcript and protein of both CYPs from 31 to 89% of the initial levels. These results indicate that methoxy derivatives of resveratrol might be efficient modulators of estrogen metabolism. Moreover, the number of methoxy groups introduced to stilbene structure may play a certain role in this effect. 10.1007/s11010-016-2871-2
    Epigenetic Activation of by Genistein In Vivo and Triple Negative Breast Cancer Cells Linked to Antagonism toward Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor. Donovan Micah G,Selmin Ornella I,Doetschman Thomas C,Romagnolo Donato F Nutrients Triple negative breast cancers (TNBC) are the most aggressive and lethal breast cancers (BC). The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) is often overexpressed in TNBC, and its activation results in the epigenetic silencing of , which is a necessary factor for the transcriptional activation of estrogen receptor (ER)α. The dietary isoflavone genistein (GEN) modulates CpG methylation in BC cells. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of GEN on epigenetic regulation and AHR activity in vivo and TNBC cells. Mice were administered a control or GEN-enriched (4 and 10 ppm) diet from gestation through post-natal day 50. Mammary tissue was analyzed for changes in regulation and AhR activity. TNBC cells with constitutively hypermethylated (HCC38) and MCF7 cells were used. Protein levels and mRNA expression were measured by Western blot and real-time PCR, respectively. promoter occupancy and CpG methylation were analyzed by chromatin immunoprecipitation and methylation-specific PCR, respectively. Cell viability was determined by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. GEN administered in the diet dose-dependently decreased basal methylation and AHR activity in the mammary gland of adult mice. HCC38 cells were found to overexpress constitutively active AHR in parallel with hypermethylation. The treatment of HCC38 cells with GEN upregulated BRCA1 protein levels, which was attributable to decreased CpG methylation and AHR binding at exon 1a. In MCF7 cells, GEN prevented the 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD)-dependent localization of AHR at the gene. These effects were consistent with those elicited by control AHR antagonists galangin (GAL), CH-223191, and α-naphthoflavone. The pre-treatment with GEN sensitized HCC38 cells to the antiproliferative effects of 4-hydroxytamoxifen. We conclude that the dietary compound GEN may be effective for the prevention and reversal of AHR-dependent hypermethylation, and the restoration of ERα-mediated response, thus imparting the sensitivity of TNBC to antiestrogen therapy. 10.3390/nu11112559
    Inflammatory breast cancer: Activation of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor and its target CYP1B1 correlates closely with Wnt5a/b-β-catenin signalling, the stem cell phenotype and disease progression. Mohamed Hossam T,Gadalla Ramy,El-Husseiny Noura,Hassan Hebatallah,Wang Zhongyan,Ibrahim Sherif A,El-Shinawi Mohamed,Sherr David H,Mohamed Mona M Journal of advanced research The aim of the present study was to evaluate the expression levels of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) and its target gene and to correlate their expression with Wnt5a/b-β-catenin, the CD44/CD24 cancer stem cell (CSC) subset and factors associated with poor prognosis in inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) and non-IBC patients. The methods of analysis used were quantitative real-time PCR, western blotting, immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry. Compared to non-IBC tissues, IBC tissues exhibited the overexpression of AHR and its target gene/protein CYP1B1. and mRNA levels were associated with the poor clinical prognosis markers tumour grade, lymphovascular invasion, cell proliferation and lymph node metastasis. Furthermore, AHR expression correlated with the expression of Wnt5a/b and β-catenin signalling molecules, and mRNA expression was downregulated in the SUM149 human IBC cell line and the MDA-MB-231 non-IBC cell line upon inhibition of AHR. gene knockout (CRISPR-Cas9) inhibits and expression in the IBC cell line. The CD44/CD24 subset was significantly correlated with the expression of AHR, CYP1B1, Wnt5a/b and β-catenin in IBC tissues. The overexpression of AHR and its target CYP1B1 correlated with the expression of Wnt5a/b and β-catenin, CSCs, and poor clinical prognostic factors of IBC. Thus, targeting AHR and/or its downstream target molecules CYP1B1 and Wnt5a/b may represent a therapeutic approach for IBC. 10.1016/j.jare.2018.11.006
    Aryl hydrocarbon receptor induced intratumoral aromatase in breast cancer. Saito Ryoko,Miki Yasuhiro,Hata Shuko,Ishida Takanori,Suzuki Takashi,Ohuchi Noriaki,Sasano Hironobu Breast cancer research and treatment PURPOSE:Aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) inhibits estrogen receptor (ER) pathway, which may suppress estrogen-dependent cell proliferation. However, the correlation between AhR stimulation and intratumoral estrogen synthesis, especially through aromatase, has not been reported to date. In the present study, we examined this correlation in breast cancer cells. METHODS:We examined AhR and aromatase immunoreactivity in 29 patients with invasive ductal carcinoma. We performed in vitro studies using three breast carcinoma cell lines, MCF-7, T47D, and MDA-MB-231. RESULTS:AhR stimulation induced the mRNA expression of the aromatase gene in vitro in three breast carcinoma cell lines, and increased estrogen synthesis in MCF-7 cell line. Results of microarray analysis showed that AhR-induced aromatase expression was associated with BRCA1 induction. Analysis of patients with breast cancer showed a significant positive correlation between intratumoral AhR and aromatase status. We also compared the effects of AhR stimulation on the induction of intratumoral estrogen synthesis and inhibition of the ER signaling pathway, because AhR exerts contradictory effects on estrogen action in breast carcinoma cells. AhR-induced aromatase expression persisted for a significantly longer duration than AhR-induced ER pathway inhibition. Moreover, breast carcinoma cells treated with an AhR agonist tended to show earlier cell proliferation after removing the agonist than cells not treated with the AhR agonist. CONCLUSION:The results of the present study suggest that AhR stimulates estrogen-dependent progression of breast carcinoma by inducing aromatase expression under some conditions. These results provide new insights on the possible roles of environmental toxins in breast cancer development. 10.1007/s10549-016-4063-x
    Antiproliferative effect of 2-Hydroxy-6-tridecylbenzoic acid from ginkgo biloba sarcotestas through the aryl hydrocarbon receptor pathway in triple-negative breast cancer cells. Zhou Dayu,Jiang Chunying,Fu Chenghao,Chang Ping,Yang Bin,Wu Jiadi,Zhao Xiaohui,Ma Shiliang Natural product research This study aims to isolate the potential antiproliferative and cytotoxic compounds from ginkgo biloba sarcotestas (GBS) and investigates the underlying mechanism in human MDA-MB-231 and mouse 4T-1 triple-negative breast cancer cells. Our results showed that 2-Hydroxy-6-tridecylbenzoic acid was isolated by cytotoxicity-guided fractionation where different fractions were assessed using MTT assay against MDA-MB-231 and 4T-1 cells. Colony formation assay showed that 2-Hydroxy-6-tridecylbenzoic acid significantly inhibited cell proliferation. The inhibition was associated with the enhancement of cytochrome P450 (CYP) 1B1 expression in a dose- and time-dependent manner and no significant change of CYP1A1 expression by qPCR and Western blot assays in MDA-MB-231 and 4T-1 cells. The mechanism was further demonstrated by the activation of aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) pathway with the upregulation of AhR, AhR nuclear translocator (ARNT) and AhR-dependent xenobiotic response elements (XRE) activity. These findings may have implications for development of anticancer agents containing 2-Hydroxy-6-tridecylbenzoic acid as functional additives. 10.1080/14786419.2018.1508144
    Hexachlorobenzene modulates the crosstalk between the aryl hydrocarbon receptor and transforming growth factor-β1 signaling, enhancing human breast cancer cell migration and invasion. Miret Noelia,Pontillo Carolina,Ventura Clara,Carozzo Alejandro,Chiappini Florencia,Kleiman de Pisarev Diana,Fernández Natalia,Cocca Claudia,Randi Andrea Toxicology Given the number of women affected by breast cancer, considerable interest has been raised in understanding the relationships between environmental chemicals and disease onset. Hexachlorobenzene (HCB) is a dioxin-like compound that is widely distributed in the environment and is a weak ligand of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR). We previously demonstrated that HCB acts as an endocrine disruptor capable of stimulating cell proliferation, migration, invasion, and metastasis in different breast cancer models. In addition, increasing evidence indicates that transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) can contribute to tumor maintenance and progression. In this context, this work investigated the effect of HCB (0.005, 0.05, 0.5, and 5μM) on TGF-β1 signaling and AhR/TGF-β1 crosstalk in the human breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231 and analyzed whether TGF-β1 pathways are involved in HCB-induced cell migration and invasion. RT-qPCR results indicated that HCB reduces AhR mRNA expression through TGF-β1 signaling but enhances TGF-β1 mRNA levels involving AhR signaling. Western blot analysis demonstrated that HCB could increase TGF-β1 protein levels and activation, as well as Smad3, JNK, and p38 phosphorylation. In addition, low and high doses of HCB were determined to exert differential effects on AhR protein levels, localization, and activation, with a high dose (5μM) inducing AhR nuclear translocation and AhR-dependent CYP1A1 expression. These findings also revealed that c-Src and AhR are involved in HCB-mediated activation of Smad3. HCB enhances cell migration (scratch motility assay) and invasion (Transwell assay) through the Smad, JNK, and p38 pathways, while ERK1/2 is only involved in HCB-induced cell migration. These results demonstrate that HCB modulates the crosstalk between AhR and TGF-β1 and consequently exacerbates a pro-migratory phenotype in MDA-MB-231 cells, which contributes to a high degree of malignancy. Taken together, our findings help to characterize the molecular mechanism underlying the effects of HCB on breast cancer progression. 10.1016/j.tox.2016.08.007
    ()-2-(3,4-Dichlorophenyl)-3-(1-Pyrrol-2-yl)Acrylonitrile Exhibits Selective Antitumor Activity in Breast Cancer Cell Lines via the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Pathway. Gilbert Jayne,De Iuliis Geoffry N,Tarleton Mark,McCluskey Adam,Sakoff Jennette A Molecular pharmacology We have previously reported the synthesis and breast cancer selectivity of ()-2-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-3-(1-pyrrol-2-yl)acrylonitrile (ANI-7) in cancer cell lines. To further evaluate the selectivity of ANI-7, we have expanded upon the initial cell line panel to now include the breast cancer cell lines (MCF7, MCF7/VP16, BT474, T47D, ZR-75-1, SKBR3, MDA-MB-468, BT20, MDA-MB-231); normal breast cells (MCF-10A); and cell lines derived from colon (HT29), ovarian (A2780), lung (H460), skin (A431), neuronal (BE2C), glial (U87, SJG2), and pancreatic (MIA) cancers. We now show that ANI-7 is up to 263-fold more potent at inhibiting the growth of breast cancer cell lines (MCF7, MCF7/VP16, BT474, T47D, ZR-75-1, SKBR3, MDA-MB-468) than normal breast cells (MCF-10A) or cell lines derived from other tumor types. Measures of growth inhibition, cell cycle analysis, morphologic assessment, Western blotting, receptor binding, gene expression, small interfering RNA technology, reporter activity, and enzyme inhibition assays were exploited to define the mechanism of action of ANI-7. In this work, we report that ANI-7 mediates its effects via the activation of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) pathway and the subsequent induction of CYP1-metabolizing mono-oxygenases. The metabolic conversion of ANI-7 induces DNA damage, checkpoint activation, S-phase cell cycle arrest, and cell death in sensitive breast cancer cell lines. Basal expression of AhR, the AhR nuclear translocator, and the CYP1 family members do not predict for sensitivity; however, inherent expression of the phase II-metabolizing enzyme sulfur transferase 1A1 does. For the first time, we identify ()-2-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)-3-(1-pyrrol-2-yl)acrylonitrile as a new AhR ligand. 10.1124/mol.117.109827
    Increasing risk of diabetes mellitus in postmenopausal women with newly diagnosed primary breast cancer. Wang Chih-Yuan,Shih Shyang-Rong,Huang Kuo-Chin Journal of diabetes investigation AIMS/INTRODUCTION:We sought to determine if postmenopausal women who develop breast cancer are at increased risk of developing diabetes mellitus. MATERIALS AND METHODS:The Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database was searched from 2001 to 2015 for women aged ≥55 years (postmenopausal) with a diagnosis of primary breast cancer. Participants were age-matched with women without breast cancer in a 1:5 ratio. Cox proportional hazards analyses were used to examine associations between breast cancer, risk factors and the development of diabetes mellitus. RESULTS:A total of 4,607 women with primary breast cancer and 23,035 age-matched controls without breast cancer were included (mean age 58.6 ± 9.1 years). Adjusting for age, income, urbanization, Charlson Comorbidity Index and medical conditions, the risk of diabetes mellitus for participants with breast cancer at 1, 5, 10 and 15 years was 1.70-, 1.34-, 1.27- and 1.24-fold higher, respectively, than for participants without breast cancer (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] 1.70, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.40-2.05; aHR 1.34, 95% CI 1.17-1.54; aHR 1.27, 95% CI 1.13-1.44; aHR 1.24, 95% CI 1.11-1.40). The risk of diabetes mellitus at 1 year for breast cancer patients receiving hormone therapy was 1.22-fold higher than in those not receiving hormone therapy (aHR 1.22, 95% CI 0.86-1.74), but without statistical significance. CONCLUSIONS:Postmenopausal women with breast cancer are at increased risk of developing diabetes mellitus, independent of receiving hormone therapy, and should be closely monitored to establish an early diagnosis and therapeutic intervention for improving related outcomes. 10.1111/jdi.13112
    Red Clover Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor (AhR) and Estrogen Receptor (ER) Agonists Enhance Genotoxic Estrogen Metabolism. Dunlap Tareisha L,Howell Caitlin E,Mukand Nita,Chen Shao-Nong,Pauli Guido F,Dietz Birgit M,Bolton Judy L Chemical research in toxicology Many women consider botanical dietary supplements (BDSs) as safe alternatives to hormone therapy for menopausal symptoms. However, the effect of BDSs on breast cancer risk is largely unknown. In the estrogen chemical carcinogenesis pathway, P450 1B1 metabolizes estrogens to 4-hydroxylated catechols, which are oxidized to genotoxic quinones that initiate and promote breast cancer. In contrast, P450 1A1 catalyzed 2-hydroxylation represents a detoxification pathway. The current study evaluated the effects of red clover, a popular BDS used for women's health, and its isoflavones, biochanin A (BA), formononetin (FN), genistein (GN), and daidzein (DZ), on estrogen metabolism. The methoxy estrogen metabolites (2-MeOE, 4-MeOE) were measured by LC-MS/MS, and CYP1A1 and CYP1B1 gene expression was analyzed by qPCR. Nonmalignant ER-negative breast epithelial cells (MCF-10A) and ER-positive breast cancer cells (MCF-7) were derived from normal breast epithelial tissue and ER+ breast cancer tissue. Red clover extract (RCE, 10 μg/mL) and isoflavones had no effect on estrogen metabolism in MCF-10A cells. However, in MCF-7 cells, RCE treatments downregulated CYP1A1 expression and enhanced genotoxic metabolism (4-MeOE/CYP1B1 > 2-MeOE/CYP1A1). Experiments with the isoflavones showed that the AhR agonists (BA, FN) preferentially induced CYP1B1 expression as well as 4-MeOE. In contrast, the ER agonists (GN, DZ) downregulated CYP1A1 expression likely through an epigenetic mechanism. Finally, the ER antagonist ICI 182,780 potentiated isoflavone-induced XRE-luciferase reporter activity and reversed GN and DZ induced downregulation of CYP1A1 expression. Overall, these studies show that red clover and its isoflavones have differential effects on estrogen metabolism in "normal" vs breast cancer cells. In breast cancer cells, the AhR agonists stimulate genotoxic metabolism, and the ER agonists downregulate the detoxification pathway. These data may suggest that especially breast cancer patients should avoid red clover and isoflavone based BDSs when making choices for menopausal symptom relief. 10.1021/acs.chemrestox.7b00237
    Aryl hydrocarbon receptor/cytochrome P450 1A1 pathway mediates breast cancer stem cells expansion through PTEN inhibition and β-Catenin and Akt activation. Al-Dhfyan Abdullah,Alhoshani Ali,Korashy Hesham M Molecular cancer BACKGROUND:Breast cancer stem cells (CSCs) are small sub-type of the whole cancer cells that drive tumor initiation, progression and metastasis. Recent studies have demonstrated a role for the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR)/cytochrome P4501A1 pathway in CSCs expansion. However, the exact molecular mechanisms remain unclear. METHODS:The current study was designed to a) determine the effect of AhR activation and inhibition on breast CSCs development, maintenance, self-renewal, and chemoresistance at the in vitro and in vivo levels and b) explore the role of β-Catenin, PI3K/Akt, and PTEN signaling pathways. To test this hypothesis, CSC characteristics of five human breast cancer cells; SKBR-3, MCF-7, and MDA-MB231, HS587T, and T47D treated with AhR activators or inhibitor were determined using Aldefluor assay, side population, and mammosphere formation. The mRNA, protein expression, cellular content and localization of the target genes were determined by RT-PCR, Western blot analysis, and Immunofluorescence, respectively. At the in vivo level, female Balb/c mice were treated with AhR/CYP1A1 inducer and histopathology changes and Immunohistochemistry examination for target proteins were determined. RESULTS:The constitutive mRNA expression and cellular content of CYP1A1 and CYP1B1, AhR-regulated genes, were markedly higher in CSCs more than differentiating non-CSCs of five different human breast cancer cells. Activation of AhR/CYP1A1 in MCF-7 cells by TCDD and DMBA, strong AhR activators, significantly increased CSC-specific markers, mammosphere formation, aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) activity, and percentage of side population (SP) cells, whereas inactivation of AhR/CYP1A1 using chemical inhibitor, α-naphthoflavone (α-NF), or by genetic shRNA knockdown, significantly inhibited the upregulation of ALDH activity and SP cells. Importantly, inactivation of the AhR/CYP1A1 significantly increased sensitization of CSCs to the chemotherapeutic agent doxorubicin. Mechanistically, Induction of AhR/CYP1A1 by TCDD and DMBA was associated with significant increase in β-Catenin mRNA and protein expression, nuclear translocation and its downstream target Cyclin D1, whereas AhR or CYP1A1 knockdown using shRNA dramatically inhibited β-Catenin cellular content and nuclear translocation. This was associated with significant inhibition of PTEN and induction of total and phosphorylated Akt protein expressions. Importantly, inhibition of PI3K/Akt pathway by LY294002 completely blocked the TCDD-induced SP cells expansion. In vivo, IHC staining of mammary gland structures of untreated and DMBA (30 mg/kg, IP)- treated mice, showed tremendous inhibition of PTEN expression accompanied with an increase in the expression p-Akt, β-Catenin and stem cells marker ALDH1. CONCLUSIONS:The present study provides the first evidence that AhR/CYP1A1 signaling pathway is controlling breast CSCs proliferation, development, self-renewal and chemoresistance through inhibition of the PTEN and activation of β-Catenin and Akt pathways. 10.1186/s12943-016-0570-y
    Taxifolin Inhibits 7,12-Dimethylbenz(a)anthracene-induced Breast Carcinogenesis by Regulating AhR/CYP1A1 Signaling Pathway. Haque Md Wasimul,Pattanayak Shakti Prasad Pharmacognosy magazine Background:Breast cancer (BC), because of its invasive characteristics, is one of the most common and deadliest cancers among the female population around the world. Research has demonstrated that AhR signaling also plays a vital role in BC initiation and development as well. Therefore, blocking this pathway to natural interferences paves a new channel for the prevention of BC. Several natural compounds such as flavonoids possess the anticancer activities against different cancers. Objective:The present study has been designed to estimate the chemotherapeutic potential of taxifolin (TAX) against 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene (DMBA)-induced mammary carcinoma in Sprague-Dawley rats. Materials and Methods:Initially, the molecular docking analysis of AhR and cytochrome P450s (CYPs) (CYP1A1 and CYP1B1) was performed using MAESTRO tool, in an attempt to rationalize the activity of TAX, based on their CYP1-binding potential. The CYP1A1 activity was determined by luciferase assay with CYP1A1 substrate luciferin CEE. The analysis was performed by administrating TAX at 10, 20, 40 mg/kg BW for 28 days intragastrically in DMBA induced (25 mg/animal dose) at 55 days of age Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats. BC initiates after 90 days of tumor induction phase. The molecular mechanism of TAX on Ahr and CYPs was also examined through the mRNA and protein expressions using reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction and Western blotting analysis. Results:Furthermore, TAX altered the energy regulation on DMBA-induced BC in SD rats by considerably restoring the cancer-induced modulations in tumor growth. Our results showed that TAX reduced the expressions of CYP1A1 and CYP1B1 in DMBA-induced mammary carcinoma by downregulating the AhR signaling pathway. Conclusion:This study revealed that TAX might be able to act as a chemotherapeutic agent against CYP1A1- and CYP1B1-mediated cancer and the inhibition of the DMBA-induced mammary carcinogenesis in a rat model. CYPs: Cytochrome P450s; PAH: polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; HRP- Horseradish peroxidase; BSA: Bovine serum albumin; DTTP: Deoxythymidine Triphosphate (nucleotide); RT-qPCR: Real Time quantitative polymerase chain reaction; CADD: Computer Aided Drug Drafting. 10.4103/pm.pm_315_17
    Heregulin-induced cell migration is promoted by aryl hydrocarbon receptor in HER2-overexpressing breast cancer cells. Yamashita Naoya,Saito Nao,Zhao Shuai,Terai Kensuke,Hiruta Nobuyuki,Park Youngjin,Bujo Hideaki,Nemoto Kiyomitsu,Kanno Yuichiro Experimental cell research HER2 overexpression accounts for approximately 15-20% of all breast cancers. We have shown that HER2 overexpression leads to elevated expression of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) in breast cancer cells. In this study, firstly, we showed that AhR expression was up-regulated by treatment with the HER3 ligand heregulin (HRG) in HER2-overexpressing breast cancer cell lines. Induction of AhR was mediated by transcriptional activation of the region of AhR promoter corresponding to - 190 to - 100 bp. In addition, HRG treatment elicited nuclear translocation of AhR. To investigate the role of AhR in HRG-HER2/HER3 signaling in HER2-overexpressing cells, we established AhR knockout (KO) HER2-overexpressing cells to perform wound-healing assays. HRG-induced cell migration was markedly attenuated by AhR KO. HRG-induced cell migration was associated with increased expression of the inflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-8 in wild type cells, but not in AhR KO cells. These results elucidate that AhR is an important factor for the malignancy in HER2 overexpressing breast cancers. 10.1016/j.yexcr.2018.02.033
    Invasion and migration of MDA-MB-231 cells are inhibited by block of AhR and NFAT: role of AhR/NFAT1/β4 integrin signaling. Shadboorestan Amir,Tarfiei Ghorban Ali,Montazeri Hamed,Sepand Mohammad Reza,Zangooei Mohammad,Khedri Azam,Ostad Seyed Nasser,Ghahremani Mohammad Hossein Journal of applied toxicology : JAT Benzo[α]pyrene (BaP) can have significant role in the development of breast cancer via aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) activation. AhR activation has been studied in several functions such as survival, migration and invasion of cancer cells. In cancer, integrins contribute to the migration/invasion process and are regulated by nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) and transforming growth factor (TGF) beta pathways. The aim of the present study was to examine the effect of BaP, an activator of AhR and cyclosporine A (CsA), as inhibitor of NFAT on migration and invasion of MDA-MB-231 cells. Furthermore, the effects of BaP and CsA were evaluated regarding the crosstalk of AhR, NFAT1 and TGF-β receptor 1 signaling. Treatment of MDA-MB-231 with BaP resulted in significantly more live cells in low doses; however, blocking NFAT with CsA decreased the viability of the cells. Activation of AhR by BaP induced invasion as well as migration in MDA-MB-231 cells, which was blocked by AhR antagonist. Unlike BaP, block of NFAT with CsA inhibited cell migration and cell invasion. In these cells, BaP significantly reduced AhR expression while this reduction was reversed by CH-223191; however, CsA treatment lowered the AhR expression only at low dose. The level of β4 integrin was significantly reduced by CsA at 1 and 2.5 μm. Protein levels of Snail and TGF-β receptor 1 were not significantly altered by BaP and CsA treatments. Considering these findings, the low AhR expression and high β4 integrin level following BaP and/or CsA treatments may contribute to the higher invasion/migration in MDA-MB-231 cells. 10.1002/jat.3728
    Genistein Prevents CpG Methylation and Proliferation in Human Breast Cancer Cells with Activated Aromatic Hydrocarbon Receptor. Romagnolo Donato F,Donovan Micah G,Papoutsis Andreas J,Doetschman Tom C,Selmin Ornella I Current developments in nutrition Previous studies have suggested a causative role for agonists of the aromatic hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) in the etiology of breast cancer 1, early-onset (BRCA-1)-silenced breast tumors, for which prospects for treatment remain poor. We investigated the regulation of by the soy isoflavone genistein (GEN) in human estrogen receptor α (ERα)-positive Michigan Cancer Foundation-7 (MCF-7) and ERα-negative sporadic University of Arizona Cell Culture-3199 (UACC-3199) breast cancer cells, respectively, with inducible and constitutively active AhR. In MCF-7 cells, we analyzed the dose- and time-dependent effects of GEN and (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) control, selected as prototype dietary DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) inhibitors, on BRCA-1 expression after AhR activation with 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) and in TCDD-washout experiments. We compared the effects of GEN and EGCG on cytosine-phosphate-guanine (CpG) methylation and cell proliferation. Controls for DNA methylation and proliferation were changes in expression of DNMT-1, cyclin D1, and p53, respectively. In UACC-3199 cells, we compared the effects of GEN and α-naphthoflavone (αNF; 7,8-benzoflavone), a synthetic flavone and AhR antagonist, on expression and CpG methylation, cyclin D1, and cell growth. Finally, we examined the effects of GEN and αNF on , AhR-inducible cytochrome P450 ()-1A1 () and , and mRNA expression. In MCF-7 cells, GEN exerted dose- and time-dependent preventative effects against TCDD-dependent downregulation of BRCA-1. After TCDD washout, GEN rescued BRCA-1 protein expression while reducing DNMT-1 and cyclin D1. GEN and EGCG reduced CpG methylation and cell proliferation associated with increased p53. In UACC-3199 cells, GEN reduced and estrogen receptor-1 () CpG methylation, cyclin D1, and cell growth while inducing BRCA-1 and . Results suggest preventative effects for GEN and EGCG against CpG methylation and downregulation in ERα-positive breast cancer cells with activated AhR. GEN and flavone antagonists of AhR may be useful for reactivation of and ERα via CpG demethylation in ERα-negative breast cancer cells harboring constitutively active AhR. 10.3945/cdn.117.000562
    Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Diet and Breast Cancer Risk. Donovan Micah G,Selmin Ornella I,Romagnolo Donato F The Yale journal of biology and medicine Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer and leading cause of cancer mortality among women worldwide. However, the majority of breast malignancies are of sporadic etiology. Therefore, identifying risk-mitigating factors may significantly decrease the burden of breast cancer. Diet can have both a predisposing and protective role in breast tumorigenesis. However, establishing efficacy of dietary constituents for cancer prevention has been limited by suboptimal dietary assessment. There is a need to acquire new experimental evidence that can be used to discriminate beneficial from harmful dietary constituents. The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) is a ligand-activated transcription factor that is recognized as the mediator of halogenated and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon toxicities. Importantly, evidence points to a breast tumor-promoting role for the AhR. Preclinical and clinical studies suggest that the AhR is overexpressed in advanced and triple negative breast cancers. Several dietary constituents, namely flavonoid compounds, have demonstrated inhibitory effects on AhR activation. Given this background, in this paper we elaborate on the working hypothesis that a diet rich in AhR food agonists favors breast tumor development, whereas a diet rich in AhR food antagonists is protective. As an initial approach to developing an AhR diet hypothesis, we conducted a review of published studies reporting on the association between intake of AhR inhibitory foods and risk of breast cancer. To assist the reader with interpretation of the concepts leading to the AhR diet hypothesis, we have preceded this review with an overview of AhR biology and its role in breast cancer development.
    Identification of a Raloxifene Analog That Promotes AhR-Mediated Apoptosis in Cancer Cells. Jang Hyo Sang,Pearce Martin,O'Donnell Edmond F,Nguyen Bach Duc,Truong Lisa,Mueller Monica J,Bisson William H,Kerkvliet Nancy I,Tanguay Robert L,Kolluri Siva Kumar Biology We previously reported that raloxifene, an estrogen receptor modulator, is also a ligand for the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR). Raloxifene induces apoptosis in estrogen receptor-negative human cancer cells through the AhR. We performed structure-activity studies with seven raloxifene analogs to better understand the structural requirements of raloxifene for induction of AhR-mediated transcriptional activity and apoptosis. We identified Y134 as a raloxifene analog that activates AhR-mediated transcriptional activity and induces apoptosis in MDA-MB-231 human triple negative breast cancer cells. Suppression of AhR expression strongly reduced apoptosis induced by Y134, indicating the requirement of AhR for Y134-induced apoptosis. Y134 also induced apoptosis in hepatoma cells without having an effect on cell cycle regulation. Toxicity testing on zebrafish embryos revealed that Y134 has a significantly better safety profile than raloxifene. Our studies also identified an analog of raloxifene that acts as a partial antagonist of the AhR, and is capable of inhibiting AhR agonist-induced transcriptional activity. We conclude that Y134 is a promising raloxifene analog for further optimization as an anti-cancer agent targeting the AhR. 10.3390/biology6040041
    High AHR expression in breast tumors correlates with expression of genes from several signaling pathways namely inflammation and endogenous tryptophan metabolism. Vacher Sophie,Castagnet Patrice,Chemlali Walid,Lallemand François,Meseure Didier,Pocard Marc,Bieche Ivan,Perrot-Applanat Martine PloS one Increasing epidemiological and animal experimental data provide substantial support for the role of aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) in mammary tumorigenesis. The effects of AhR have been clearly demonstrated in rodent models of breast carcinogenesis and in several established human breast cancer cell lines following exposure to AhR ligands or AhR overexpression. However, relatively little is known about the role of AhR in human breast cancers. AhR has always been considered to be a regulator of toxic and carcinogenic responses to environmental contaminants such as TCDD (dioxin) and benzo[a]pyrene (BaP). The aim of this study was to identify the type of breast tumors (ERα-positive or ERα-negative) that express AHR and how AhR affects human tumorigenesis. The levels of AHR, AHR nuclear translocator (ARNT) and AHR repressor (AHRR) mRNA expression were analyzed in a cohort of 439 breast tumors, demonstrating a weak association between high AHR expression and age greater than fifty years and ERα-negative status, and HR-/ERBB2 breast cancer subtypes. AHRR mRNA expression was associated with metastasis-free survival, while AHR mRNA expression was not. Immunohistochemistry revealed the presence of AhR protein in both tumor cells (nucleus and/or cytoplasm) and the tumor microenvironment (including endothelial cells and lymphocytes). High AHR expression was correlated with high expression of several genes involved in signaling pathways related to inflammation (IL1B, IL6, TNF, IL8 and CXCR4), metabolism (IDO1 and TDO2 from the kynurenine pathway), invasion (MMP1, MMP2 and PLAU), and IGF signaling (IGF2R, IGF1R and TGFB1). Two well-known ligands for AHR (TCDD and BaP) induced mRNA expression of IL1B and IL6 in an ERα-negative breast tumor cell line. The breast cancer ER status likely influences AhR activity involved in these signaling pathways. The mechanisms involved in AhR activation and target gene expression in breast cancers are also discussed. 10.1371/journal.pone.0190619
    AhR ligand aminoflavone suppresses α6-integrin-Src-Akt signaling to attenuate tamoxifen resistance in breast cancer cells. Campbell Petreena S,Mavingire Nicole,Khan Salma,Rowland Leah K,Wooten Jonathan V,Opoku-Agyeman Anna,Guevara Ashley,Soto Ubaldo,Cavalli Fiorella,Loaiza-Pérez Andrea Irene,Nagaraj Gayathri,Denham Laura J,Adeoye Olayemi,Jenkins Brittany D,Davis Melissa B,Schiff Rachel,Brantley Eileen J Journal of cellular physiology More than 40% of patients with luminal breast cancer treated with endocrine therapy agent tamoxifen demonstrate resistance. Emerging evidence suggests tumor initiating cells (TICs) and aberrant activation of Src and Akt signaling drive tamoxifen resistance and relapse. We previously demonstrated that aryl hydrocarbon receptor ligand aminoflavone (AF) inhibits the expression of TIC gene α6-integrin and disrupts mammospheres derived from tamoxifen-sensitive breast cancer cells. In the current study, we hypothesize that tamoxifen-resistant (TamR) cells exhibit higher levels of α6-integrin than tamoxifen-sensitive cells and that AF inhibits the growth of TamR cells by suppressing α6-integrin-Src-Akt signaling. In support of our hypothesis, TamR cells and associated mammospheres were found to exhibit elevated α6-integrin expression compared with their tamoxifen-sensitive counterparts. Furthermore, tumor sections from patients who relapsed on tamoxifen showed enhanced α6-integrin expression. Gene expression profiling from the TCGA database further revealed that basal-like breast cancer samples, known to be largely unresponsive to tamoxifen, demonstrated higher α6-integrin levels than luminal breast cancer samples. Importantly, AF reduced TamR cell viability and disrupted TamR mammospheres while concomitantly reducing α6-integrin messenger RNA and protein levels. In addition, AF and small interfering RNA against α6-integrin blocked tamoxifen-stimulated proliferation of TamR MCF-7 cells and further sensitized these cells to tamoxifen. Moreover, AF reduced Src and Akt signaling activation in TamR MCF-7 cells. Our findings suggest elevated α6-integrin expression is associated with tamoxifen resistance and AF suppresses α6-integrin-Src-Akt signaling activation to confer activity against TamR breast cancer. 10.1002/jcp.27013
    A novel prenylflavone restricts breast cancer cell growth through AhR-mediated destabilization of ERα protein. Tiong Chi Tze,Chen Chen,Zhang Shi Jun,Li Jun,Soshilov Anatoly,Denison Michael S,Lee Lawrence Soon-U,Tam Vincent H,Wong Shih Peng,Xu H Eric,Yong Eu-Leong Carcinogenesis There is concern that ingestion of dietary phytoestrogens may increase risk of estrogen receptor alpha (ERα)-positive breast cancer. The prenylflavone icaritin, a phytoestrogen consumed in East Asian societies for its perceived beneficial effects on bone health, stimulated the growth of breast cancer (MCF-7) cells at low concentrations. Although acting like an estrogenic ligand, icaritin exerted an unexpected suppressive effect on estrogen-stimulated breast cancer cell proliferation and gene expression at higher concentrations. Like estradiol, icaritin could dose-dependently destabilize ERα protein. However, destabilization of ERα by the estradiol/icaritin combination was profound and greater than that observed for either compound alone. Microarray gene expression analyses implicated aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) signaling for this suppressive effect of icaritin. Indeed, icaritin was an AhR agonist that competitively reduced specific binding of a potent AhR agonist and increased expression of the AhR-regulated gene CYP1A1. When AhR was knocked down by small interfering RNA, the suppressive effect of icaritin on estradiol-stimulated breast cancer cell growth and gene expression was abolished, and ERα protein stability was partially restored. Similarly in an athymic nude mouse model, icaritin restricted estradiol-stimulated breast cancer xenograft growth and strongly reduced ERα protein levels. Overall, our data support the feasibility for the development of dual agonists like icaritin, which are estrogenic but yet, through activating AhR-signaling, can destabilize ERα protein to restrict ERα-positive breast cancer cell growth. 10.1093/carcin/bgs110
    AHR/CYP1A1 interplay triggers lymphatic barrier breaching in breast cancer spheroids by inducing 12(S)-HETE synthesis. Nguyen Chi Huu,Brenner Stefan,Huttary Nicole,Atanasov Atanas Georgiev,Dirsch Verena Maria,Chatuphonprasert Waranya,Holzner Sivio,Stadler Serena,Riha Juliane,Krieger Sigurd,de Martin Rainer,Bago-Horvath Zsuzsanna,Krupitza Georg,Jäger Walter Human molecular genetics A causal link between overexpression of aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) and its target cytochrome P450 1A1 (CYP1A1) and metastatic outgrowth of various cancer entities has been established. Nevertheless, the mechanism how AHR/CYP1A1 support metastasis formation is still little understood. In vitro we discovered a potential mechanism facilitating tumour dissemination based on the production of 12(S)-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (12(S)-HETE). Utilising a three-dimensional lymph endothelial cell (LEC) monolayer & MDA-MB231 breast cancer cell spheroid co-culture model in combination with knock-down approach allowed elucidation of the molecular/biochemical basis of AHR/CYP1A1-induced tumour breaching through the LEC barrier. Enzyme immunoassay evidenced the potential of recombinant CYP1A1 to synthesise 12(S)-HETE in vitro and qPCR and Western blotting measured gene and protein expression in specific experimental settings. In detail, AHR induced CYP1A1 expression and 12(S)-HETE secretion in tumour spheroids, which caused LEC junction retraction thereby forming large discontinuities allowing transmigration of the tumour. This was enforced by the activating AHR ligand 6-formylindolo (3,3-b)carbazole (FICZ), or inhibited by the AHR antagonist 3,3’-diindolylmethane (DIM) as well as by siRNA against AHR and CYP1A1. AHR and NF-κB were negatively cross talking and therefore, the inhibition of AHR (but not CYP1A1) induced RELA, RELB, NFKB1, NFKB2 and the NF-κB target MMP1, which itself promotes tumour intravasation by a mechanism that is different from 12(S)-HETE. Conversely, the inhibition of NFKB2 induced AHR, CYP1A1 and 12(S)-HETE synthesis. The approved clinical drugs guanfacine and vinpocetine, which inhibit CYP1A1 and NF-κB, respectively, significantly inhibited LEC barrier breaching in vitro indicating an option to reduce metastatic dissemination. 10.1093/hmg/ddw329
    Aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) regulation of L-Type Amino Acid Transporter 1 (LAT-1) expression in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. Tomblin Justin K,Arthur Subha,Primerano Donald A,Chaudhry Ateeq R,Fan Jun,Denvir James,Salisbury Travis B Biochemical pharmacology The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) is a ligand-activated transcription factor that is regulated by environmental toxicants that function as AHR agonists such as 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). L-Type Amino Acid Transporter 1 (LAT1) is a leucine transporter that is overexpressed in cancer. The regulation of LAT1 by AHR in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells (BCCs) was investigated in this report. Ingenuity pathway analysis (IPA) revealed a significant association between TCDD-regulated genes (TRGs) and molecular transport. Overlapping the TCDD-RNA-Seq dataset obtained in this study with a published TCDD-ChIP-seq dataset identified LAT1 as a primary target of AHR-dependent TCDD induction. Short interfering RNA (siRNA)-directed knockdown of AHR confirmed that TCDD-stimulated increases in LAT1 mRNA and protein required AHR expression. TCDD-stimulated increases in LAT1 mRNA were also inhibited by the AHR antagonist CH-223191. Upregulation of LAT1 by TCDD coincided with increases in leucine uptake by MCF-7 cells in response to TCDD. Chromatin immunoprecipitation-quantitative PCR (ChIP-qPCR) assays revealed increases in AHR, AHR nuclear translocator (ARNT) and p300 binding and histone H3 acetylation at an AHR binding site in the LAT1 gene in response to TCDD. In MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells, endogenous levels of LAT1 mRNA and protein were reduced in response to knockdown of AHR expression. Knockdown experiments demonstrated that proliferation of MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells is dependent on both LAT1 and AHR. Collectively, these findings confirm the dependence of cancer cells on leucine uptake and establish a mechanism for extrinsic and intrinsic regulation of LAT1 by AHR. 10.1016/j.bcp.2016.02.020
    AhR ligands reactivate LINE-1 retrotransposon in triple-negative breast cancer cells MDA-MB-231 and non-tumorigenic mammary epithelial cells NMuMG. Miret Noelia,Zappia C Daniel,Altamirano Gabriela,Pontillo Carolina,Zárate Lorena,Gómez Ayelén,Lasagna Marianela,Cocca Claudia,Kass Laura,Monczor Federico,Randi Andrea Biochemical pharmacology Breast cancer is the most common cancer type in females worldwide. Environmental exposure to pesticides affecting hormonal homeostasis does not necessarily induce DNA mutations but may influence gene expression by disturbances in epigenetic regulation. Expression of long interspersed nuclear element-1 (LINE-1) has been associated with tumorigenesis in several cancers. In nearly all somatic cells, LINE-1 is silenced by DNA methylation in the 5́'UTR and reactivated during disease initiation and/or progression. Strong ligands of aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) activate LINE-1 through the transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1)/Smad pathway. Hexachlorobenzene (HCB) and chlorpyrifos (CPF), both weak AhR ligands, promote cell proliferation and migration in breast cancer cells, as well as tumor growth in rat models. In this context, our aim was to examine the effect of these pesticides on LINE-1 expression and ORF1p localization in the triple-negative breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231 and the non-tumorigenic epithelial breast cell line NMuMG, and to evaluate the role of TGF-β1 and AhR pathways. Results show that 0.5 μM CPF and 0.005 μM HCB increased LINE-1 mRNA expression through Smad and AhR signaling in MDA-MB-231. In addition, the methylation of the first sites in 5́'UTR of LINE-1 was reduced by pesticide exposure, although the farther sites remained unaffected. Pesticides modulated ORF1p localization in MDA-MB-231: 0.005 μM HCB and 50 μM CPF increased nuclear translocation, while both induced cytoplasmic retention at 0.5 and 5 μM. Moreover, both stimulated double-strand breaks, enhancing H2AX phosphorylation, coincidentally with ORF1p nuclear localization. In NMuMG similar results were observed, since they heighten LINE-1 mRNA levels. CPF effect was through AhR and TGF-β1 signaling, whereas HCB action depends only of AhR. In addition, both pesticides increase ORF1p expression and nuclear localization. Our results provide experimental evidence that HCB and CPF exposure modify LINE-1 methylation levels and induce LINE-1 reactivation, suggesting that epigenetic mechanisms could contribute to pesticide-induced breast cancer progression. 10.1016/j.bcp.2020.113904
    Aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR): From selected human target genes and crosstalk with transcription factors to multiple AHR functions. Bock Karl Walter Biochemical pharmacology Accumulating evidence including studies of AHR-deficient mice and TCDD toxicity suggests multiple physiologic AHR functions. Challenges to identify responsible mechanisms are due to marked species differences and dependence upon cell type and cellular context. Transient AHR modulation is often necessary for physiologic functions whereas TCDD-mediated sustained receptor activation has been demonstrated to be responsible for toxic outcomes. To stimulate studies on responsible action mechanisms the commentary is focused on human AHR target genes and crosstalk with transcription factors. Discussed AHR functions include chemical and microbial defense, organ development, modulation of immunity and inflammation, reproduction, and NAD-dependent energy metabolism. Obviously, much more work is needed to elucidate action mechanisms. In particular, studies of pathways leading to NAD-dependent energy metabolism may shed light on the puzzling species differences of TCDD-mediated lethality and provide options for treatment of obesity and age-related degenerative diseases. 10.1016/j.bcp.2019.06.015
    Expression of aryl hydrocarbon receptor repressor in normal human tissues and inducibility by polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in human tumor-derived cell lines. Tsuchiya Yuki,Nakajima Miki,Itoh Satsuki,Iwanari Masashi,Yokoi Tsuyoshi Toxicological sciences : an official journal of the Society of Toxicology Aryl hydrocarbon receptor repressor (AhRR) has been recently identified as a negative factor that suppresses aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR)-mediated transcriptional gene expression. In the present study, the expression level of AhRR in normal human tissues was determined. AhRR mRNA was detected in liver, breast, colon, kidney, lung, bladder, uterus, testis, ovary, and adrenal gland. The expression level in the testis was prominently high. AhRR mRNA was also detected in various human tissue-derived cell lines, HepG2 (hepatocellular carcinoma), MCF-7 (breast carcinoma), LS-180 (colon carcinoma), ACHN (renal carcinoma), A549 (lung carcinoma), HT-1197 (bladder carcinoma), HeLa (cervix of uterus adenocarcinoma), NEC14 (testis embryonal carcinoma), and OMC-3 (ovarian carcinoma). Since the expression level of AhRR mRNA was prominently high in HeLa cells, it is suggested that the high expression level of AhRR might work as a negative factor for the low inducibility of the CYP1 family in HeLa cells. The expression of AhRR mRNA was induced by 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) or 3-methylchoranthrene (3-MC) in HepG2, MCF-7, LS-180, and OMC-3 cells, but not in ACHN, A549, HT-1197, HeLa, and NEC14 cells. The responsiveness was similar to the cell-specific inducibility of the CYP1 family. The inducibility of AhRR mRNA by nitropolycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (NPAHs) as well as their parent PAHs was compared in HepG2 and OMC-3 cells. The chemical-specific inducibility of AhRR was also similar to that of the CYP1 family determined in our previous study. These results indicated that AhRR is also induced in chemical- and cell-specific manners. 10.1093/toxsci/kfg022
    AhR ligand Aminoflavone inhibits α6-integrin expression and breast cancer sphere-initiating capacity. Brantley Eileen,Callero Mariana A,Berardi Damian E,Campbell Petreena,Rowland Leah,Zylstra Dain,Amis Louisa,Yee Michael,Simian Marina,Todaro Laura,Loaiza-Perez Andrea I,Soto Ubaldo Cancer letters Traditional chemotherapies debulk tumors but fail to produce long-term clinical remissions due to their inability to eradicate tumor-initiating cells (TICs). This necessitates therapy with activity against the TIC niche. Αlpha6-integrin (α6-integrin) promotes TIC growth. In contrast, aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) signaling activation impedes the formation of mammospheres (clusters of cells enriched for TICs). We investigated the ability of AhR agonist Aminoflavone (AF) and AF pro-drug (AFP464) to disrupt mammospheres derived from breast cancer cells and a M05 mammary mouse model of breast cancer respectively. We further examined the capacity of AF and AFP464 to exhibit anticancer activity and modulate the expression of 'stemness' genes including α6-integrin using immunofluorescence, flow cytometry and qRT-PCR analysis. AF disrupted mammospheres and prevented secondary mammosphere formation. In contrast, AF did not disrupt mammospheres derived from AhR ligand-unresponsive MCF-7 cells. AFP464 treatment suppressed M05 tumor growth and disrupted corresponding mammospheres. AF and AFP464 reduced the expression and percentage of cells that stained for 'stemness' markers including α6-integrin in vitro and in vivo respectively. These data suggest AFP464 thwarts bulk breast tumor and TIC growth via AhR agonist-mediated α6-integrin inhibition. 10.1016/j.canlet.2016.03.025
    The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) as a breast cancer drug target. Baker Jennifer R,Sakoff Jennette A,McCluskey Adam Medicinal research reviews Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, with more than 1.7 million diagnoses worldwide per annum. Metastatic breast cancer remains incurable, and the presence of triple-negative phenotypes makes targeted treatment impossible. The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), most commonly associated with the metabolism of xenobiotic ligands, has emerged as a promising biological target for the treatment of this deadly disease. Ligands for the AhR can be classed as exogenous or endogenous and may have agonistic or antagonistic activity. It has been well reported that agonistic ligands may have potent and selective growth inhibition activity in a number of oncogenic cell lines, and one (aminoflavone) has progressed to phase I clinical trials for breast cancer sufferers. In this study, we examine the current state of the literature in this area and elucidate the promising advances that are being made in hijacking the cytosolic-to-nuclear pathway of the AhR for the possible future treatment of breast cancer. 10.1002/med.21645
    Genome-wide mapping and analysis of aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR)- and aryl hydrocarbon receptor repressor (AHRR)-binding sites in human breast cancer cells. Yang Sunny Y,Ahmed Shaimaa,Satheesh Somisetty V,Matthews Jason Archives of toxicology The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) mediates the toxic actions of environmental contaminants, such as 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-ρ-dioxin (TCDD), and also plays roles in vascular development, the immune response, and cell cycle regulation. The AHR repressor (AHRR) is an AHR-regulated gene and a negative regulator of AHR; however, the mechanisms of AHRR-dependent repression of AHR are unclear. In this study, we compared the genome-wide binding profiles of AHR and AHRR in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells treated for 24 h with TCDD using chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by next-generation sequencing (ChIP-Seq). We identified 3915 AHR- and 2811 AHRR-bound regions, of which 974 (35%) were common to both datasets. When these 24-h datasets were also compared with AHR-bound regions identified after 45 min of TCDD treatment, 67% (1884) of AHRR-bound regions overlapped with those of AHR. This analysis identified 994 unique AHRR-bound regions. AHRR-bound regions mapped closer to promoter regions when compared with AHR-bound regions. The AHRE was identified and overrepresented in AHR:AHRR-co-bound regions, AHR-only regions, and AHRR-only regions. Candidate unique AHR- and AHRR-bound regions were validated by ChIP-qPCR and their ability to regulate gene expression was confirmed by luciferase reporter gene assays. Overall, this study reveals that AHR and AHRR exhibit similar but also distinct genome-wide binding profiles, supporting the notion that AHRR is a context- and gene-specific repressor of AHR activity. 10.1007/s00204-017-2022-x
    AhR controls redox homeostasis and shapes the tumor microenvironment in BRCA1-associated breast cancer. Kubli Shawn P,Bassi Christian,Roux Cecilia,Wakeham Andrew,Göbl Christoph,Zhou Wenjing,Jafari Soode Moghadas,Snow Bryan,Jones Lisa,Palomero Luis,Thu Kelsie L,Cassetta Luca,Soong Daniel,Berger Thorsten,Ramachandran Parameswaran,Baniasadi Shakiba P,Duncan Gordon,Lindzen Moshit,Yarden Yosef,Herranz Carmen,Lazaro Conxi,Chu Mandy F,Haight Jillian,Tinto Paul,Silvester Jennifer,Cescon David W,Petit Anna,Pettersson Sven,Pollard Jeffrey W,Mak Tak W,Pujana Miguel A,Cappello Paola,Gorrini Chiara Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Cancer cells have higher reactive oxygen species (ROS) than normal cells, due to genetic and metabolic alterations. An emerging scenario is that cancer cells increase ROS to activate protumorigenic signaling while activating antioxidant pathways to maintain redox homeostasis. Here we show that, in basal-like and BRCA1-related breast cancer (BC), ROS levels correlate with the expression and activity of the transcription factor aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR). Mechanistically, ROS triggers AhR nuclear accumulation and activation to promote the transcription of both antioxidant enzymes and the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) ligand, amphiregulin (AREG). In a mouse model of BRCA1-related BC, cancer-associated AhR and AREG control tumor growth and production of chemokines to attract monocytes and activate proangiogenic function of macrophages in the tumor microenvironment. Interestingly, the expression of these chemokines as well as infiltration of monocyte-lineage cells (monocyte and macrophages) positively correlated with ROS levels in basal-like BC. These data support the existence of a coordinated link between cancer-intrinsic ROS regulation and the features of tumor microenvironment. Therapeutically, chemical inhibition of AhR activity sensitizes human BC models to Erlotinib, a selective EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor, suggesting a promising combinatorial anticancer effect of AhR and EGFR pathway inhibition. Thus, AhR represents an attractive target to inhibit redox homeostasis and modulate the tumor promoting microenvironment of basal-like and BRCA1-associated BC. 10.1073/pnas.1815126116
    The putative endogenous AHR ligand ITE reduces JAG1 and associated NOTCH1 signaling in triple negative breast cancer cells. Piwarski Sean A,Thompson Chelsea,Chaudhry Ateeq R,Denvir James,Primerano Donald A,Fan Jun,Salisbury Travis B Biochemical pharmacology The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) is a ligand-activated transcription factor. Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) is the most aggressive breast cancer subtype. TNBC expresses AHR and AHR ligands have anti-cancer activity in TNBC. The aggressiveness of TNBC is due in part to JAG1-NOTCH1 signaling. ITE is a putative endogenous AHR ligand. We show that ITE reduces the expression of JAG1 the amount of Notch 1 intracellular domain (NICD1) and the phosphorylation of STAT3 (at tyrosine 705) in TNBC MDA-MB-231 cells. The STAT3 inhibitor STATTIC also reduced JAG1. STAT3, thus, mediates regulation of JAG1 in MDA-MB-231 cells. Reducing the expression of JAG1 with short interfering RNA decreases the growth, migration and invasiveness of MDA-MB-231 cells. JAG1, therefore, has cellular effects in MDA-MB-231 cells under basal conditions. We consequently evaluated if exposing cells to greater amounts of JAG1 would counteract ITE cellular effects in MDA-MB-231 cells. The results show that JAG1 does not counteract the cellular effects of ITE. JAG1, thus, has no effect on growth or invasiveness in MDA-MB-231 cells treated with ITE. JAG1, therefore, has context dependent roles in MDA-MB-231 cells (basal versus ITE treatment). The results also show that other pathways, not inhibition of the JAG1-NOTCH1 pathway, are important for mediating the growth and invasive inhibitory effect of ITE on MDA-MB-231 cells. 10.1016/j.bcp.2020.113845
    The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) mediates resistance to apoptosis induced in breast cancer cells. Bekki Kanae,Vogel Helena,Li Wen,Ito Tomohiro,Sweeney Colleen,Haarmann-Stemmann Thomas,Matsumura Fumio,Vogel Christoph F A Pesticide biochemistry and physiology The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) is well known as a ligand binding transcription factor regulating various biological effects. Previously we have shown that long-term exposure to estrogen in breast cancer cells caused not only down regulation of estrogen receptor (ER) but also overexpression of AhR. The AhR interacts with several cell signaling pathways associated with induction of tyrosine kinases, cytokines and growth factors which may support the survival roles of AhR escaping from apoptosis elicited by a variety of apoptosis inducing agents in breast cancer. In this study, we studied the anti-apoptotic role of AhR in different breast cancer cells when apoptosis was induced by exposure to UV light and chemotherapeutic agents. Activation of AhR by 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) in AhR overexpressing breast cancer cells effectively suppressed the apoptotic response induced by UV-irradiation, doxorubicin, lapatinib and paclitaxel. The anti-apoptotic response of TCDD was uniformly antagonized by the treatment with 3'methoxy-4'nitroflavone (MNF), a specific antagonist of AhR. TCDD's survival action of apoptosis was accompanied with the induction of well-known inflammatory genes, such as cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and NF-κB subunit RelB. Moreover, TCDD increased the activity of the immunosuppressive enzyme indoleamine 2, 3-dioxygenase (IDO), which metabolizes tryptophan to kynurenine (Kyn) and mediates tumor immunity. Kyn also acts as an AhR ligand like TCDD, and kyn induced an anti-apoptotic response in breast cancer cells. Accordingly, our present study suggests that AhR plays a pivotal role in the development of breast cancer via the suppression of apoptosis, and provides an idea that the use of AhR antagonists with chemotherapeutic agents may effectively synergize the elimination of breast cancer cells. 10.1016/j.pestbp.2014.12.021
    The Prognostic Impact of the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor (AhR) in Primary Breast Cancer Depends on the Lymph Node Status. Jeschke Udo,Zhang Xi,Kuhn Christina,Jalaguier Stéphan,Colinge Jacques,Pfender Kristina,Mayr Doris,Ditsch Nina,Harbeck Nadia,Mahner Sven,Sixou Sophie,Cavaillès Vincent International journal of molecular sciences Increasing evidence implicates the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) as a possible regulator of mammary carcinogenesis. This study aims to clarify its prognostic impact in breast cancer (BC). Meta-analyses performed at the mRNA level demonstrated that the predictive value of AhR expression in BC depends on the lymph node (LN) status. AhR expression and sub-cellular location were then analyzed by immunohistochemistry in 302 primary BC samples. AhR was expressed in almost 90% of cases with a predominant nuclear location. Nuclear and cytoplasmic AhR levels were significantly correlated and associated with the expression of RIP140 (receptor-interacting protein of 140 kDa), an AhR transcriptional coregulator and target gene. Interestingly, total and nuclear AhR levels were only significantly correlated with short overall survival in node-negative patients. In this sub-group, total and nuclear AhR expression had an even stronger prognostic impact in patients with low RIP140-expressing tumors. Very interestingly, the total AhR prognostic value was also significant in luminal-like BCs and was an independent prognostic marker for LN-negative patients. Altogether, this study suggests that AhR is a marker of poor prognosis for patients with LN-negative luminal-like BCs, which warrants further evaluation. 10.3390/ijms20051016
    AHR and GPER mediate the stimulatory effects induced by 3-methylcholanthrene in breast cancer cells and cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs). Cirillo Francesca,Lappano Rosamaria,Bruno Leonardo,Rizzuti Bruno,Grande Fedora,Guzzi Rita,Briguori Sara,Miglietta Anna Maria,Nakajima Miki,Di Martino Maria Teresa,Maggiolini Marcello Journal of experimental & clinical cancer research : CR BACKGROUND:The chemical carcinogen 3-methylcholanthrene (3MC) binds to the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) that regulates the expression of cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes as CYP1B1, which is involved in the oncogenic activation of environmental pollutants as well as in the estrogen biosynthesis and metabolism. 3MC was shown to induce estrogenic responses binding to the estrogen receptor (ER) α and stimulating a functional interaction between AHR and ERα. Recently, the G protein estrogen receptor (GPER) has been reported to mediate certain biological responses induced by endogenous estrogens and environmental compounds eliciting an estrogen-like activity. METHODS:Molecular dynamics and docking simulations were performed to evaluate the potential of 3MC to interact with GPER. SkBr3 breast cancer cells and cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) derived from breast tumor patients were used as model system. Real-time PCR and western blotting analysis were performed in order to evaluate the activation of transduction mediators as well as the mRNA and protein levels of CYP1B1 and cyclin D1. Co-immunoprecipitation studies were performed in order to explore the potential of 3MC to trigger the association of GPER with AHR and EGFR. Luciferase assays were carried out to determine the activity of CYP1B1 promoter deletion constructs upon 3MC exposure, while the nuclear shuttle of AHR induced by 3MC was assessed through confocal microscopy. Cell proliferation stimulated by 3MC was determined as biological counterpart of the aforementioned experimental assays. The statistical analysis was performed by ANOVA. RESULTS:We first ascertained by docking simulations the ability of 3MC to interact with GPER. Thereafter, we established that 3MC activates the EGFR/ERK/c-Fos transduction signaling through both AHR and GPER in SkBr3 cells and CAFs. Then, we found that these receptors are involved in the up-regulation of CYP1B1 and cyclin D1 as well as in the stimulation of growth responses induced by 3MC. CONCLUSIONS:In the present study we have provided novel insights regarding the molecular mechanisms by which 3MC may trigger a physical and functional interaction between AHR and GPER, leading to the stimulation of both SkBr3 breast cancer cells and CAFs. Altogether, our results indicate that 3MC may engage both GPER and AHR transduction pathways toward breast cancer progression. 10.1186/s13046-019-1337-2