Transcriptional activation of deoxyribonucleic acid polymerase alpha gene expression in MCF-7 cells by 17 beta-estradiol. Academic Article uri icon


  • Treatment of MCF-7 human breast cancer cells with 17beta-estradiol (E(2)) results in increased DNA synthesis and cell proliferation and enhanced enzyme activities associated with purine/pyrimidine biosynthesis. The mechanism of enhanced DNA polymerase alpha activity was investigated by analysis of the promoter region of this gene. E(2) induced luciferase (reporter gene) activity in MCF-7 cells transfected with pDNAP1, pDNAP2, and pDNAP3 containing -1515 to +45, -248 to +45 and -116 to +45 inserts from the DNA polymerase alpha gene promoter, whereas no induction was observed with pDNAP4 (-65 to +45 insert). The induction response was dependent on cotransfection with estrogen receptor alpha (ER(alpha)), and transactivation was also observed with a mutant ER(alpha) that did not express the DNA-binding domain. Subsequent functional, DNA binding, and DNA footprinting studies showed that a GC-rich region at -106 to -100 was required for E(2)-mediated transactivation, and Sp1 protein, but not ER(alpha), bound this sequence. Transcriptional activation of DNA polymerase alpha by E(2) is associated with ER(alpha)/Sp1 action at a proximal GC-rich promoter sequence, and this gene is among a growing list of E(2)-responsive genes that are induced via ER(alpha)/Sp1 protein interactions that do not require direct binding of the hormone receptor to DNA.

published proceedings

  • Endocrinology

author list (cited authors)

  • Samudio, I., Vyhlidal, C., Wang, F., Stoner, M., Chen, I., Kladde, M., ... Safe, S.

citation count

  • 31

complete list of authors

  • Samudio, I||Vyhlidal, C||Wang, F||Stoner, M||Chen, I||Kladde, M||Barhoumi, R||Burghardt, R||Safe, S

publication date

  • March 2001