Regulation of dihydrofolate reductase in human breast cancer cells and in mutant hamster cells transfected with a human dihydrofolate reductase minigene

K. H. Cowan, M. E. Goldsmith, M. D. Ricciardone, R. Levine, E. Rubalcaba, J. Jolivet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

The regulation of dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) gene expression was studied in gene-amplified, estrogen-responsive human breast cancer cells (MTX(R) MCF-7). Previous studies have shown that estrogen increases, whereas tamoxifen decreases the rate of DHFR enzyme synthesis resulting in corresponding changes in the level of this enzyme. DHFR levels also increase following incubation with methotrexate (MTX), an effect which is dependent on both the concentration of extracellular drug and the duration of exposure and which occurs at concentrations that are insufficient to inhibit cell growth. MTX, like estrogen and tamoxifen, has no apparent effect on the rate of DHFR enzyme degradation. The increase in DHFR in response to MTX is additive with that of estrogen and is not prevented by tamoxifen. Whereas hormone-mediated changes in DHFR are associated with changes in the level of DHFR mRNA, there is no apparent change in DHFR mRNA concentrations in cells exposed to MTX. The regulation of DHFR enzyme levels was also studied in gene-deleted Chinese hamster ovary cells which were transfected with a functional human DHFR minigene contructed from human DHFR genomic and cDNA sequences. Incubation with MTX increases DHFR levels in Chinese hamster ovary cells transfected with the human DHFR minigene but has no effect in cells transfected with a DHFR minigene which uses a viral promotor and polyadenylation signal. Thus, the human DHFR minigene contains sequences other than the protein coding region which effect the regulation of this gene by MTX.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-76
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular pharmacology
Volume30
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology

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