BRCA1 Attenuates Progesterone Effects on Proliferation and NFκB Activation in Normal Human Mammary Epithelial Cells
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Germline mutations in the breast cancer susceptibility gene BRCA1, encoding a tumor suppressor protein, greatly enhance the risk of breast and ovarian cancer. This tissue-specificity implicates the role of ovarian hormones. Indeed, BRCA1 has been demonstrated to regulate the signalling axis of the hormone, progesterone, and its receptor, the progesterone receptor (PR), and progesterone action has been implicated in BRCA1-related tumorigenesis. BRCA1 also plays important roles in oxidative stress and activating nuclear factor kappaB (NFκB) signalling pathways. Like wildtype BRCA1 function, PR signalling has also been shown to inhibit NFκB activation. Although PR and BRCA1 networks are known to interact, their interaction at the level of NFκB activation in the human breast is not understood. This study investigates the effect of reduced BRCA1 expression on proliferation and NFκB activation in human breast cells, and the impact of progesterone on these effects. The major findings are that: 1) Reduced BRCA1 levels inhibit cell growth in normal human mammary cells and breast cancer cells; 2) Reduced BRCA1 levels stimulated inflammatory targets and NFκB activity in normal human mammary cells; 3) Wildtype BRCA1 inhibited the pro-proliferative effects of progesterone in normal mammary epithelial cells, and; 4) Progesterone attenuated BRCA1-mediated NFκB activation in normal human mammary cells. These data have important implications for our understanding of progesterone action in BRCA1 mutation carriers, and how inhibition of this action may potentially delay tumorigenesis or impart a more favourable prognosis.
KeywordsProgesterone BRCA1 Breast cancer NFκB Proliferation
This work was made possible by funding from the National Breast Cancer Foundation (HNH; Career Development Fellowship; Grant ID: ECF-16-007), Cure Cancer Australia Foundation/Cancer Australia (HNH; Grant ID: APP1098796). CLC is a National Health and Medical Research Council Principal Research Fellow (Grant ID: APP1081334). HNH, CLC and JDG are supported by a project grant from The Cancer Council NSW (Grant ID: RG-15-17).
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