Cholesterol and breast cancer pathophysiology


Journal Article (Review)

© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Cholesterol is a risk factor for breast cancer although the mechanisms by which this occurs are not well understood. One hypothesis is that dyslipidemia results in increased cholesterol content in cell membranes, thus impacting upon membrane fluidity and subsequent signaling. In addition, studies demonstrate that the metabolite, 27-hydroxycholesterol (27HC), can function as an estrogen, increasing the proliferation of estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer cells. This was unexpected because 27HC and other oxysterols activate the liver X receptors (LXR), resulting in a reduction of intracellular cholesterol. Resolution of this paradox will require dissection of the molecular mechanisms by which ER and LXR converge in breast cancer cells. Regardless, the observation that 27HC influences breast cancer provides a rationale for strategies that target cholesterol metabolism.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Nelson, ER; Chang, CY; McDonnell, DP

Published Date

  • January 1, 2014

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 25 / 12

Start / End Page

  • 649 - 655

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1879-3061

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1043-2760

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.tem.2014.10.001

Citation Source

  • Scopus