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Progesterone regulates the proliferation of breast cancer cells – in vitro evidence

Authors Azeez J, Sithul H, Hariharan I, Sreekumar S, Prabhakar J, Sreeja S, Pillai M

Received 27 May 2015

Accepted for publication 5 August 2015

Published 9 November 2015 Volume 2015:9 Pages 5987—5999


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Wei Duan

Juberiya M Azeez,1 Hima Sithul,1 Indhu Hariharan,1 Sreeja Sreekumar,1 Jem Prabhakar,2 Sreeharshan Sreeja,1 Madhavan Radhakrishna Pillai1

1Cancer Research Program, Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, 2Division of Surgical Oncology, Regional Cancer Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, India

Abstract: Reports state that surgery performed at different phases of the menstrual cycle may significantly affect breast cancer treatment outcome. From previous studies, we identified differentially expressed genes in each menstrual cycle phase by microarray, then subjected them to functional in vitro analyses. Microarray studies disclosed genes that are upregulated in the luteal phase and follicular phase. TOB-1 is a tumor suppressor gene and was expressed exclusively in the luteal phase in our microarray study. Therefore, we further functionally characterized the protein product of TOB-1 in vitro. To our knowledge, no studies have yet been conducted on reactive oxygen species-regulated tumor suppressor interactions in accordance with the biphasic nature of progesterone. This work demonstrates that progesterone can produce reactive oxygen species in MCF-7 cells and that TOB-1 exerts a series of non-genomic interactions that regulate antiproliferative activity by modulating the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase. Furthermore, this study implicates PTEN as an interacting partner for TOB-1, which may regulate the downstream expression of cell cycle control protein p27 via multiple downstream signaling pathways of progesterone through a progesterone receptor, purely in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. These results support the hypothesis that surgery conducted during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle may facilitate improved patient survival.

Keywords: progesterone, reactive oxygen species, TOB-1, cell growth arrest

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