7-ketocholesterol and 27-hydroxycholesterol decreased doxorubicin sensitivity in breast cancer cells: Estrogenic activity and mTOR pathway

Chun Wei Wang, Chiung Chiao Huang, Pei Hsin Chou, Yu Ping Chang, Shouzuo Wei, Frederick Peter Guengerich, Yueh Ching Chou, Sheng Fan Wang, Ping Shan Lai, Pavel Soucek, Yune Fang Ueng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Hypercholesterolemia is one of the risk factors for poor outcome in breast cancer therapy. To elucidate the influence of the main circulating oxysterols, cholesterol oxidation products, on the cell-killing effect of doxorubicin, cells were exposed to oxysterols at a subtoxic concentration. When cells were exposed to oxysterols in fetal bovine serumsupplemented medium, 7-ketocholesterol (7-KC), but not 27-hydroxycholesterol (27- HC), decreased the cytotoxicity of doxorubicin in MCF-7 (high estrogen receptor (ER) α/ERβ ratio) cells and the decreased cytotoxicity was restored by the P-glycoprotein inhibitor verapamil. 7-KC stimulated the efflux function of P-glycoprotein and reduced intracellular doxorubicin accumulation in MCF-7 but not in ERα(-) MDA-MB-231 and the resistant MCF-7/ADR cells. In MCF-7 cells, 7-KC increased the mRNA and protein levels of P-glycoprotein. The 7-KC-suppressed doxorubicin accumulation was restored by the fluvestrant and ERα knockdown. In a yeast reporter assay, the ERα activation by 7-KC was more potent than 27-HC. 7-KC, but not 27-HC, stimulated the expression of an ER target, Trefoil factor 1 in MCF-7 cells. When charcoal-stripped fetal bovine serum was used, both 7-KC and 27-HC induced Trefoil factor 1 expression and reduced doxorubicin accumulation in MCF-7 cells. 7-KC-reduced doxorubicin accumulation could be reversed by inhibitors of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, Akt, and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). These findings demonstrate that 7-KC decreases the cytotoxicity of doxorubicin through the up-regulation of P-glycoprotein in an ERα- and mTOR-dependent pathway. The 7-KC- and 27-HC-elicited estrogenic effects are crucial in the P-glycoprotein induction in breast cancer cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66033-66050
Number of pages18
Issue number39
Publication statusPublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology


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