Pten gene expression down regulated in DES-promoted cancers

Transcriptional profiling endometrial carcinomas microdissected from DES-treated mice identifies changes in gene expression associated with estrogenic tumor promotion

2006 Study Abstract

Exposure to unopposed estrogen is a potent risk factor for developing human endometrial cancer. However, little is known about the transcriptional changes elicited by estrogens in endometrial carcinogenesis, in part, because of genetic and environmental heterogeneity of human tumors.

We have begun to chart the expression signatures of endometrial tumors promoted with the synthetic estrogen, diethylstilbestrol (DES), in inbred mice.

As expected, laser-capture-microdissected endometrial cancers from DES-treated mice displayed a large number of transcriptional changes when compared to uninvolved endometrial epithelium. Genes differentially expressed in carcinomas included cell adhesion and extracellular matrix genes (Decorin as 1 example), developmental genes (Hoxa11), and cytokine signaling genes (Socs3).

The DES-promoted carcinomas appeared to fall into 2 distinct transcriptional classes, and expression of the tumor suppressor Pten was among the top discriminators between the 2 cancer groups. Pten was down regulated in the majority of the DES-promoted carcinomas, which is analogous to the frequent loss of PTEN expression in human endometrial tumors.

Although preliminary, these observations suggest that the cancers that arise in the DES model bear similarities to human endometrial cancers and provide insights into transcriptional alterations that accompany estrogen-driven endometrial carcinogenesis.

Sources and more information
  • Transcriptional profiling endometrial carcinomas microdissected from DES-treated mice identifies changes in gene expression associated with estrogenic tumor promotion, International journal of cancer, NCBI PubMed PMID: 16804899, 2006 Oct.
  • Malignancy associates with increased miR-18a and reduced PTEN expression. featured image credit nature.
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