Melatonin inhibits estrogen receptor transactivation and cAMP levels in breast cancer cells.


Journal Article

We have previously demonstrated that the pineal hormone, melatonin, can inhibit the growth of estrogen receptor-alpha (ERalpha)-positive breast cancer cells and suppress ERalpha gene transcription. To investigate the relationship between the estrogen response pathway and melatonin's growth inhibition, ERalpha-positive MCF-7 human breast cancer cells were transiently transfected with an estrogen response element (ERE) luciferase reporter construct and then treated with melatonin (10(-9)-10(-6) M) for 30 min followed by 10(-9) M 17-beta-estradiol (E2) or treated with each compound alone. Melatonin pre-treatment significantly reduced E2-induced ERalpha transactivation and ERalpha-ERE binding activity. We also conducted experiments to determine if melatonin modulates cAMP levels in MCF-7 cells. Melatonin inhibited the forskolin-induced and E2-induced elevation of cAMP levels by 57 and 45%, respectively. These data indicate that melatonin can act as a biological modifier to affect ERalpha transcriptional activity by regulating signal transduction pathways which impinge on the ERalpha and by altering E2-mediated ERalpha transactivation and ERalpha DNA binding activity.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Kiefer, T; Ram, PT; Yuan, L; Hill, SM

Published Date

  • January 2002

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 71 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 37 - 45

PubMed ID

  • 11859872

Pubmed Central ID

  • 11859872

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0167-6806

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1023/a:1013301408464


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Netherlands