Crosstalk between estrogen receptor alpha and the aryl hydrocarbon receptor in breast cancer cells involves unidirectional activation of proteasomes. Academic Article uri icon


  • 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) is an environmental toxin that activates the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) and disrupts multiple endocrine signaling pathways. T47D human breast cancer cells express a functional estrogen receptor alpha (ERalpha) and AhR, and treatment of these cells with 17beta-estradiol (E2) or TCDD resulted in a rapid proteasome-dependent decrease in immunoreactive ERalpha and AhR proteins (>60-80%), respectively. E2 did not affect the AhR, whereas TCDD induced proteasome-dependent degradation of both the AhR and ERalpha in T47D and MCF-7 human breast cancer cells, and these responses were specifically blocked by proteasome inhibitors. Thus, TCDD-induced degradation of ERalpha may contribute to the antiestrogenic activity of AhR agonists and this pathway may be involved in AhR-mediated disruption of other endocrine responses.

published proceedings

  • FEBS Lett

author list (cited authors)

  • Wormke, M., Stoner, M., Saville, B., & Safe, S.

citation count

  • 94

complete list of authors

  • Wormke, M||Stoner, M||Saville, B||Safe, S

publication date

  • July 2000