Effects of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) on cell growth and the secretion of the estrogen-induced 34-, 52- and 160-kDa proteins in human breast cancer cells. Academic Article uri icon


  • The effects of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) on the growth of estrogen-responsive MCF-7 human breast cancer cells in the presence of 17 beta-estradiol was determined. After treatment with 17 beta-estradiol (1 nM), TCDD (10 nM) and 17 beta-estradiol (1 nM) plus TCDD (10 nM) the cells were monitored daily for cell growth and DNA content for 7 days. The results showed that TCDD inhibited cell proliferation and DNA content of untreated cells and inhibited the 17 beta-estradiol-stimulated cell proliferation and increase in cellular DNA content. In contrast, TCDD did not effect the growth of estrogen non-responsive MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cells. TCDD (0.1-10 nM) also caused a concentration-dependent decrease in the 17 beta-estradiol-induced proliferation in MCF-7 cells. The effects of TCDD on the 17 beta-estradiol-induced secretion of the 52-kDa protein (i.e. procathepsin D), the 34-kDa (cathepsin D) and 160-kDa proteins were also determined in the MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cell lines. The levels of the proteins were determined by autoradiographic analysis of the incorporation of [35S]methionine into the secreted proteins which were separated by denaturing sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Treatment of MCF-7 cells with 17 beta-estradiol (1 nM), TCDD (10 and 100 nM) and 17 beta-estradiol (1 nM) plus TCDD (10 nM) resulted in levels of the 52-kDa protein which were 497, 63.6, 98.1 and 66.3%, respectively, of the corresponding levels observed in control (untreated) cells. Using the same concentrations, the levels of the 34-kDa protein secreted into the media were 372, 42.3, 64.0 and 43.8% of control values, respectively, and the corresponding levels of the 160-kDa protein were 381, 52.9, 71.2 and 76.6% of the control values, respectively. In contrast, treatment of MDA-MB-231 cells with 17 beta-estradiol (1 nM), TCDD (10 and 100 nM) and 17 beta-estradiol (1 nM) plus TCDD (10 nM) resulted in a 31-39% reduction in the secretion of the 52-kDa protein however these effects were not statistically different from the control values. In addition, the treatments did not cause any significant effects on the secretion of the 34- and 160-kDa proteins by MDA-MB-231 cells. These results clearly confirm and extend the range of antiestrogenic effects caused by TCDD in estrogen-responsive MCF-7 cells and indicate that the MDA-MB-231 cells are not responsive to the antiestrogenic effects of TCDD.

published proceedings

  • J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Biegel, L., & Safe, S.

citation count

  • 87

complete list of authors

  • Biegel, L||Safe, S

publication date

  • December 1990