Interest has been increasingly focused on all-trans-retinoic acid (tRA) and 13-cis-retinoic acid (13cRA) in cancer chemoprevention and treatment. We have examined the in vitro effects of these 2 retinoic acids (RAs) on human breast-cancer cell lines MCF-7 and ZR-75.1 (both estrogen-receptor-positive, ER+) and MDA-MB-231 (estrogen-receptor-negative, ERa-), in terms of inhibition of proliferation and induction of apoptosis. Both retinoic acids exerted an evident dose-dependent growth inhibition, although in the ER- cell line the anti-proliferative effect was obtained only with the highest concentration used; the anti-proliferative activity of tRA was more evident than 13cRA on all 3 tested cell lines. tRA and 13cRA induced apoptosis in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cell lines, but not in ZR-75.l. The apoptotic phenomenon was clearly time-dependent, and in our experience it was not related to the arrest in a specific phase of cell cycle. After treatment with RAs the levels of bcl-2 were reduced in MCF-7, while in ZR-75.1 and in MDA-MB-231 no treatment-related modifications were observed. An analysis of estrogen receptor status, used as a marker of differentiation, demonstrated that after treatment with RAs the levels of estrogen receptor (ER) decreased in ZR-75.1 only. Our study indicates that the anti-proliferative effects of RAs are sustained by induction of apoptosis in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells, while in ZR-75.1 cells an induction of differentiation without apoptosis was the prevalent mechanism of growth inhibition. Our results encourage further studies on in vivo effects of these retinoids in breast cancer.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||International Journal of Cancer|
|Publication status||Published - 1997|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research