PURPOSE: In endometrial cancer, loss of progesterone receptors (PR) is associated with more advanced disease. This study aimed to investigate the mechanism of action of progesterone and the loss of its receptors (PRA and PRB) in development of endometrial cancer. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: A 9600-cDNA microarray analysis was performed to study regulation of gene expression in the human endometrial cancer subcell line Ishikawa PRAB-36 by the progestagen medroxy progesterone acetate (MPA). Five MPA-regulated genes were selected for additional investigation. Expression of these genes was studied by Northern blot and by immunohistochemistry in Ishikawa subcell lines expressing different PR isoforms. Additionally, endometrial cancer tissue samples were immunohistochemically stained to study the in vivo protein expression of the selected genes. RESULTS: In the PRAB-36 cell line, MPA was found to regulate the expression of a number of invasion- and metastasis-related genes. On additional investigation of five of these genes (CD44, CSPG/Versican, Tenascin-C, Fibronectin-1, and Integrin-beta 1), it was observed that expression and progesterone regulation of expression of these genes varied in subcell lines expressing different PR isoforms. Furthermore, in advanced endometrial cancer, it was shown that loss of expression of both PR and E-cadherin was associated with increased expression CD44 and CSPG/Versican. CONCLUSION: The present study shows that progestagens exert a modulatory effect on the expression of genes involved in tumor cell invasion. As a consequence, loss of PR expression in human endometrial cancer may lead to development of a more invasive phenotype of the respective tumor.

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Clinical Cancer Research
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Hanekamp, E., Blok, L., Gielen, S., Smid-Koopman, E., Kühne, L., de Ruiter, P., … Huikeshoven, F. (2003). Consequences of loss of progesterone receptor expression in development of invasive endometrial cancer. Clinical Cancer Research. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/10230