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BACKGROUND - The role of estrogen metabolism in determining breast cancer risk and differences in breast cancer rates between high-incidence and low-incidence nations is poorly understood.
METHODS - We measured urinary concentrations of estradiol and estrone (parent estrogens) and 13 estrogen metabolites formed by irreversible hydroxylation at the C-2, C-4, or C-16 positions of the steroid ring in a nested case-control study of 399 postmenopausal invasive breast cancer case participants and 399 matched control participants from the population-based Shanghai Women's Health Study cohort. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of breast cancer by quartiles of metabolic pathway groups, pathway ratios, and individual estrogens/estrogen metabolites were estimated by multivariable conditional logistic regression. Urinary estrogen/estrogen metabolite measures were compared with those of postmenopausal non-hormone-using Asian Americans, a population with three-fold higher breast cancer incidence rates. All statistical tests were two-sided.
RESULTS - Urinary concentrations of parent estrogens were strongly associated with breast cancer risk (ORQ4vsQ1 = 1.94, 95% CI = 1.21 to 3.12, Ptrend = .01). Of the pathway ratios, the 2-pathway:total estrogens/estrogen metabolites and 2-pathway:parent estrogens were inversely associated with risk (ORQ4vsQ1 = 0.57, 95% CI = 0.35 to 0.91, Ptrend = .03, and ORQ4vsQ1 = 0.61, 95% CI = 0.37 to 0.99, Ptrend = .04, respectively). After adjusting for parent estrogens, these associations remained clearly inverse but lost statistical significance (ORQ4vsQ1 = 0.65, 95% CI = 0.39 to 1.06, Ptrend = .12 and ORQ4vsQ1 = 0.76, 95% CI = 0.44 to 1.32, Ptrend = .28). The urinary concentration of all estrogens/estrogen metabolites combined in Asian American women was triple that in Shanghai women.
CONCLUSIONS - Lower urinary parent estrogen concentrations and more extensive 2-hydroxylation were each associated with reduced postmenopausal breast cancer risk in a low-risk nation. Markedly higher total estrogen/estrogen metabolite concentrations in postmenopausal United States women (Asian Americans) than in Shanghai women may partly explain higher breast cancer rates in the United States.
Published by Oxford University Press 2016. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the United States.
Obesity is associated with insulin resistance and reduced transport of insulin through the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Reversal of high-fat diet-induced obesity (HFD-DIO) by dietary intervention improves the transport of insulin through the BBB and the sensitivity of insulin in the brain. Although both insulin and estrogen (E2), when given alone, reduce food intake and body weight via the brain, E2 actually renders the brain relatively insensitive to insulin's catabolic action. The objective of these studies was to determine if E2 influences the ability of insulin to be transported into the brain, since the receptors for both E2 and insulin are found in BBB endothelial cells. E2 (acute or chronic) was systemically administered to ovariectomized (OVX) female rats and male rats fed a chow or a high-fat diet. Food intake, body weight and other metabolic parameters were assessed along with insulin entry into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Acute E2 treatment in OVX female and male rats reduced body weight and food intake, and chronic E2 treatment prevented or partially reversed high-fat diet-induced obesity. However, none of these conditions increased insulin transport into the CNS; rather, chronic E2 treatment was associated less-effective insulin transport into the CNS relative to weight-matched controls. Thus, the reduction of brain insulin sensitivity by E2 is unlikely to be mediated by increasing the amount of insulin entering the CNS.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
ErbB3, a member of the ErbB family of receptor tyrosine kinases, is a potent activator of phosphatidyl inositol-3 kinase (PI3K) and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling, driving tumor cell survival and therapeutic resistance in breast cancers. In luminal breast cancers, ErbB3 upregulation following treatment with the antiestrogen fulvestrant enhances PI3K/mTOR-mediated cell survival. However, the mechanism by which ErbB3 is upregulated in fulvestrant-treated cells is unknown. We found that ErbB3 protein levels and cell surface presentation were increased following fulvestrant treatment, focusing our attention on proteins that regulate ErbB3 at the cell surface, including Nrdp1, NEDD4 and LRIG1. Among these, only LRIG1 correlated positively with ERα, but inversely with ErbB3 in clinical breast cancer data sets. LRIG1, an estrogen-inducible ErbB downregulator, was decreased in a panel of fulvestrant-treated luminal breast cancer cells. Ectopic LRIG1 expression from an estrogen-independent promoter uncoupled LRIG1 from estrogen regulation, thus sustaining LRIG1 and maintaining low ErbB3 levels in fulvestrant-treated cells. An LRIG1 mutant lacking the ErbB3 interaction motif was insufficient to downregulate ErbB3. Importantly, LRIG1 overexpression improved fulvestrant-mediated growth inhibition, whereas cells expressing the LRIG1 mutant were poorly sensitive to fulvestrant, despite effective ERα downregulation. Consistent with these results, LRIG1 expression correlated positively with increased disease-free survival in antiestrogen-treated breast cancer patients. These data suggest that ERα-dependent expression of LRIG1 dampens ErbB3 signaling in luminal breast cancer cells, and by blocking ERα activity with fulvestrant, LRIG1 is decreased thus permitting ErbB3 accumulation, enhanced ErbB3 signaling to cell survival pathways and blunting therapeutic response to fulvestrant.
Aromatase is the cytochrome P450 enzyme that cleaves the C10-C19 carbon-carbon bond of androgens to form estrogens, in a three-step process. Compound I (FeO(3+)) and ferric peroxide (FeO2(-)) have both been proposed in the literature as the active iron species in the third step, yielding an estrogen and formic acid. Incubation of purified aromatase with its 19-deutero-19-oxo androgen substrate was performed in the presence of (18)O2, and the products were derivatized using a novel diazo reagent. Analysis of the products by high-resolution mass spectrometry showed a lack of (18)O incorporation in the product formic acid, supporting only the Compound I pathway. Furthermore, a new androgen 19-carboxylic acid product was identified. The rates of nonenzymatic hydration of the 19-oxo androgen and dehydration of the 19,19-gem-diol were shown to be catalytically competent. Thus, the evidence supports Compound I and not ferric peroxide as the active iron species in the third step of the steroid aromatase reaction.
BACKGROUND AND AIMS - Consumption of foods that modulate inflammatory stress in genetically-prone individuals may influence development of cardiometabolic diseases. Isoflavones in soy-derived foods function as phytoestrogens, have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity, inhibit protein-tyrosine kinase activity, and may be atheroprotective. We examined the relationship between soy food consumption and inflammatory responses to endotoxemia, postprandial responses to oral lipid tolerance test (OLTT), and insulin sensitivity from frequently sampled intravenous tolerance tests (FSIGTT).
METHODS AND RESULTS - We administered low-dose endotoxin (LPS 1 ng/kg) to induce transient endotoxemia in young, healthy volunteers (N = 215) of African (AA), and European (EA) ancestry as part of the GENE Study. We further supported these findings in two independent samples: the MECHE Study and NHANES. Soy food consumption was a significant predictor of peak cytokine response following LPS. Individuals with moderate-high (>1.48 mg/day, N = 65) vs. low-no (<1.48 mg/day, N = 150) isoflavone consumption had significantly higher tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) post-LPS (AUC, P = 0.009). Further, high-isoflavone consumers were protected against inflammation-induced decline in insulin sensitivity (SI) in GENE. We observed significant differences by soy consumption in the interferon gamma (IFNγ) response to OLTT, and the insulin response to OGTT in MECHE, as well as significantly lower fasting insulin, and 2-hour glucose post-OGTT in EA NHANES subjects.
CONCLUSION - We demonstrate that soy consumption may influence inflammatory and metabolic responses. In research of nutritional exposures, measuring evoked phenotypes may be more informative than describing resting characteristics. The GENE Study was registered under NCT00953667 and the MECHE Study under NCT01172951, both at clinicaltrials.gov.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
The development of insulin resistance in the liver is a key event that drives dyslipidemia and predicts diabetes and cardiovascular risk with obesity. Clinical data show that estrogen signaling in males helps prevent adiposity and insulin resistance, which may be mediated through estrogen receptor-α (ERα). The tissues and pathways that mediate the benefits of estrogen signaling in males with obesity are not well defined. In female mice, ERα signaling in the liver helps to correct pathway-selective insulin resistance with estrogen treatment after ovariectomy. We assessed the importance of liver estrogen signaling in males using liver ERα-knockout (LKO) mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD). We found that the LKO male mice had decreased insulin sensitivity compared with their wild-type floxed (fl/fl) littermates during hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamps. Insulin failed to suppress endogenous glucose production in LKO mice, indicating liver insulin resistance. Insulin promoted glucose disappearance in LKO and fl/fl mice similarly. In the liver, insulin failed to induce phosphorylation of Akt-Ser(473) and exclude FOXO1 from the nucleus in LKO mice, a pathway important for liver glucose and lipid metabolism. Liver triglycerides and diacylglycerides were also increased in LKO mice, which corresponded with dysregulation of insulin-stimulated ACC phosphorylation and DGAT1/2 protein levels. Our studies demonstrate that estrogen signaling through ERα in the liver helps prevent whole body and hepatic insulin resistance associated with HFD feeding in males. Augmenting hepatic estrogen signaling through ERα may lessen the impact of obesity on diabetes and cardiovascular risk in males.
Copyright © 2014 the American Physiological Society.
BACKGROUND - The catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) enzyme has been widely studied due to its multiple roles in neurological functioning, estrogen biology, and methylation metabolic pathways. Numerous studies have investigated variation in the large COMT gene, with the majority focusing on single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). This body of work has linked COMT genetic variation with a vast array of conditions, including several neurobehavioral disorders, pain sensitivity, and multiple human cancers. Based on COMT's numerous biological roles and recent studies suggesting that methylation of the COMT gene impacts COMT gene expression, we comprehensively interrogated methylation in over 200 CpG dinucleotide sequences spanning the length of the COMT gene.
METHODS - Using saliva-derived DNA from a non-clinical sample of human subjects, we tested for associations between COMT CpG methylation and factors reported to interact with COMT genetic effects, including demographic factors and alcohol use. Finally, we tested associations between COMT CpG methylation state and COMT gene expression in breast cancer cell lines. We interrogated >200 CpGs in 13 amplicons spanning the 5' UTR to the last exon of the CpG dinucleotide-rich COMT gene in n = 48 subjects, n = 11 cell lines and 1 endogenous 18S rRNA control.
RESULTS - With the exception of the CpG island in the 5'UTR and 1st exon, all other CpG islands were strongly methylated with typical dynamic ranges between 50-90%. In the saliva samples, methylation of multiple COMT loci was associated with socioeconomic status or ethnicity. We found associations between methylation at numerous loci and genotype at the functional Val158Met SNP (rs4680), and most of the correlations between methylation and demographic and alcohol use factors were Val158Met allele-specific. Methylation at several of these loci also associated with COMT gene expression in breast cancer cell lines.
CONCLUSIONS - We report the first comprehensive interrogation of COMT methylation. We corroborate previous findings of variation in COMT methylation with gene expression and the Val158Met genotype, and also report novel associations with socioeconomic status (SES) and ethnicity at several methylated loci. These results point to novel mechanisms for COMT regulation, which may have broad therapeutic implications.
OBJECTIVE - Genomewide association studies have consistently found variants in fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 (FGFR2) to be associated with breast cancer. Recent reports suggest that postmenopausal hormone therapy (HT) use may modify the association between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in FGFR2 and breast cancer risk. We assessed the hypothesis that the association between rs1219648 (FGFR2) SNP and breast cancer risk is modified by postmenopausal HT use in a population-based case-control study.
METHODS - We evaluated rs1219648 SNP for an association with breast cancer risk using data obtained from 869 postmenopausal breast cancer cases diagnosed between 1995 and 2000 and from 808 postmenopausal community controls who participated in a study conducted in three US states. Detailed postmenopausal HT information was collected through a structured telephone interview, and DNA samples were collected by mail using an established mouthwash protocol. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using logistic regression models adjusted for age and state of residence.
RESULTS - We observed a significant association between rs1219648 and breast cancer risk (per-allele odds ratio, 1.22; 95% CI, 1.06-1.41; P = 0.007), which did not vary significantly by ever use of estrogen plus progestogen therapy (interaction P = 0.48). There was stronger evidence of an interaction between ever use of estrogen-only HT and increasing number of rs1219648 risk alleles to increase breast cancer risk (interaction P = 0.08).
CONCLUSIONS - Our results are consistent with a risk association with FGFR2 but provide limited support for interaction with HT use. The study raises the possibility that the FGFR2 rs1219648 variant is more strongly associated with risk in estrogen-only hormone users, although this observation needs to be examined in larger studies.
Pathway-selective insulin resistance where insulin fails to suppress hepatic glucose production but promotes liver fat storage may underlie glucose and lipid abnormalities after menopause. We tested the mechanisms by which estrogen treatment may alter the impact of a high-fat diet (HFD) when given at the time of ovariectomy (OVX) in mice. Female C57BL/6J mice underwent sham operation, OVX, or OVX with estradiol (E2) treatment and were fed an HFD. Hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamps were used to assess insulin sensitivity, tracer incorporation into hepatic lipids, and liver triglyceride export. OVX mice had increased adiposity that was prevented with E2 at the time of OVX. E2 treatment increased insulin sensitivity with OVX and HFD. In sham and OVX mice, HFD feeding induced fatty liver, and insulin reduced hepatic apoB100 and liver triglyceride export. E2 treatment reduced liver lipid deposition and prevented the decrease in liver triglyceride export during hyperinsulinemia. In mice lacking the liver estrogen receptor α, E2 after OVX limited adiposity but failed to improve insulin sensitivity, to limit liver lipid deposition, and to prevent insulin suppression of liver triglyceride export. In conclusion, estrogen treatment may reverse aspects of pathway-selective insulin resistance by promoting insulin action on glucose metabolism but limiting hepatic lipid deposition.