Inhibition of MCF-7 breast cancer cell proliferation by 5alpha-dihydrotestosterone; a role for p21(Cip1/Waf1)

M.A. Greeve, R.K. Allan, Jennet Harvey, J.M. Bentel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)


Androgens inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells in vitro and in vivo by mechanisms that remain poorly defined. In this study, treatment of asynchronously growing MCF-7 breast cancer cells with the androgen, 5alpha-dihydrotestosterone (DHT), was shown to inhibit cell proliferation and induce moderate increases in the proportion of G1 phase cells. Consistent with targeting the G1-S phase transition, DHT pretreatment of MCF-7 cultures impeded the serum-induced progression of G1-arrested cells into S phase and reduced the kinase activities of cyclin-dependent kinase (Cdk)4 and Cdk2 to less than 50% of controls within 3 days. DHT treatment was associated with greater than twofold increases in the levels of the Cdk inhibitor, p27(Kip1), while p21(Cip1/Waf1) protein levels remained unchanged. During the first 24 h of DHT treatment, levels of Cdk4-associated p21(Cip1/Waf1) and p27(Kip1) were reduced coinciding with decreased levels of Cdk4-associated cyclin D3. In contrast, DHT treatment caused increased accumulation of Cdk2-associated p21(Cip1/Waf1), with no significant alterations in levels of p27(Kip1) bound to Cdk2 complexes. These findings suggest that DHT reverses the Cdk4-mediated titration of p21(Cip1/Waf1) and p27(Kip1) away from Cdk2 complexes, and that the increased association of p21(Cip1/Waf1) with Cdk2 complexes in part mediates the androgen-induced growth inhibition of breast cancer cells.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)793-810
JournalJournal of Molecular Endocrinology
Issue numberNA
Publication statusPublished - 2004


Dive into the research topics of 'Inhibition of MCF-7 breast cancer cell proliferation by 5alpha-dihydrotestosterone; a role for p21(Cip1/Waf1)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this