Calmodulin antagonism and growth-inhibiting activity of triphenylethylene antiestrogens in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells

A. Gulino, G. Barrera, A. Vacca, A. Farina, C. Ferretti, I. Screpanti, M. U. Dianzani, L. Frati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The triphenylethylene antiestrogen tamoxifen has been shown previously to inhibit both calmodulin and protein kinase C activities, which are involved in the control of cell proliferation. We have studied the effect of several derivatives of the triphenylethylene antiestrogen family on the inhibition of both calmodulin-dependent cyclic adenosine 3':5'-monophosphate-phosphodiesterase activity and proliferation of breast cancer cells cultured with 0.5 μM estradiol in order to prevent interaction of these drugs with the estrogen receptor. We have observed that hydroxylation of the triphenylethylene molecule significantly decreases its ability to inhibit the calmodulin-dependent phosphodiesterase activity in vitro. Furthermore, the growth-inhibiting activity of several antiestrogens and other calmodulin antagonists [R24571, trifluoperazine, N-(6-aminohexyl)-5-chloronaphthalene-1-sulfonamide, and N-(6-aminohexyl)-1-naphthalenesulfonamide] correlated with their antagonistic effects on calmodulin activity. The level of activity was determined as follows: R24571 > tamoxifen = N-demethyltamoxifen = nafoxidine > 4-hydroxytamoxifen > 3,4-dihydroxytamoxifen = trifluoperazine > N-(6-aminohexyl)-5-chloronaphthalene-1-sulfononamide > metabolite A > N-(6-aminohexyl)-1-naphthalenesulfonamide. On the other hand both protein kinase C-activating and -inhibiting drugs (phorboltetradecanoate-13-acetate and tamoxifen, respectively) have a synergistic inhibitory effect on the growth of MCF-7 cells. Our data suggest that antiestrogen interactions with calmodulin and not protein kinase C may play a role in mediating the drug-induced estrogen-independent inhibition of breast cancer cell growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6274-6278
Number of pages5
JournalCancer Research
Issue number12 I
Publication statusPublished - 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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