Estrogen- and antiestrogen-responsiveness of HEC1A endometrial adenocarcinoma cells in culture.
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HEC1A endometrial cancer cells express the wild-type form of the estrogen receptor (ER) and 17beta-estradiol (E2) induces proliferation of these cells. In contrast, tamoxifen only causes a minimal increase (<20%) in cell proliferation. In HEC1A cells transiently transfected with the C3-Luc plasmid derived from the complement C3 gene, both E2 and tamoxifen exhibited ER agonist activity and tamoxifen was also a partial antagonist for this response. The relative ER agonist/antagonist activities of E2, tamoxifen and ICI 182,780 were also investigated in HEC1A1 cells transiently transfected with two E2-responsive plasmids, pCATHD-CAT and pCKB-CAT which contain 5'-promoter inserts from the cathepsin D and creatine kinase B genes, respectively. The results showed that E2 and tamoxifen induced reporter gene activity in cells transiently transfected with both constructs. ICI 182,780 exhibited partial ER agonist activity only in cells transiently transfected with pCKB-CAT and antagonized E2-induced reporter gene activity using both the CKB- and CATHD-derived constructs. These results demonstrate that HEC1A endometrial cancer cells are E2-responsive and represent a useful cell culture model for understanding hormone/antihormone-induced endometrial cell responses.