Progesterone receptors upregulate Wnt-1 to induce epidermal growth factor receptor transactivation and c-Src-dependent sustained activation of Erk1/2 mitogen-activated protein kinase in breast cancer cells

Emily J. Faivre, Carol A Lange

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

160 Scopus citations

Abstract

Progesterone receptor (PR) ligand binding induces rapid and transient (5- to 10-min) activation of cytosolic c-Src-Ras-Erk1/2 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling that is independent of PR functioning as transcription factors. Here, we have explored the integration of PR-dependent transcription and rapid signaling events in breast cancer cells. PR-B, but not PR-A, induced robust and sustained (6- to 72-h) Erk1/2 activation that was required for elevated cyclin D1 protein but not mRNA levels. Sustained Erk1/2 activation in response to progestins occurred via a novel mechanism distinct from rapid signaling initiated by PR/c-Src interactions and required the PR-B DNA-binding domain (DBD). PR/progestin upregulated epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and Wnt-1. In response to PR-induced Wnt-1 signaling, matrix metalloprotease (MMP)-mediated membrane-proximal shedding of EGFR ligands transactivated EGFR and induced persistent downstream c-Src and Erk1/2 activities. T47D cell anchorage-independent growth was stimulated by progestins and blocked by inhibition of Erk1/2, c-Src, EGFR, or RNA interference of Wnt-1. Similarly, cell growth in soft agar required the PR DBD but was sensitive to disruption of PR/c-Src interactions, suggesting that both PR-B-induced rapid signaling events and nuclear actions contribute to this response. Our discovery that progestins are capable of robust autocrine activation of EGFR and sustained Erk1/2 signaling provides further support for the physiological linkage of growth factor and steroid hormone signaling. PR-B-induced sustained MAPK signaling may provide prosurvival or proliferative advantages to early breast cancer lesions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)466-480
Number of pages15
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Volume27
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2007

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