Estrogen regulation of TRPM8 expression in breast cancer cells.BMC Cancer. 2010 May 19; 10:212.BC
The calcium-permeable cation channel TRPM8 (melastatin-related transient receptor potential member 8) is over-expressed in several cancers. The present study aimed at investigating the expression, function and potential regulation of TRPM8 channels by ER alpha (estrogen receptor alpha) in breast cancer.
RT-PCR, Western blot, immuno-histochemical, and siRNA techniques were used to investigate TRPM8 expression, its regulation by estrogen receptors, and its expression in breast tissue. To investigate the channel activity in MCF-7 cells, we used the whole cell patch clamp and the calcium imaging techniques.
TRPM8 channels are expressed at both mRNA and protein levels in the breast cancer cell line MCF-7. Bath application of the potent TRPM8 agonist Icilin (20 microM) induced a strong outwardly rectifying current at depolarizing potentials, which is associated with an elevation of cytosolic calcium concentration, consistent with established TRPM8 channel properties. RT-PCR experiments revealed a decrease in TRPM8 mRNA expression following steroid deprivation for 48 and 72 hours. In steroid deprived medium, addition of 17-beta-estradiol (E2, 10 nM) increased both TRPM8 mRNA expression and the number of cells which respond to Icilin, but failed to affect the Ca2+ entry amplitude. Moreover, silencing ERalpha mRNA expression with small interfering RNA reduced the expression of TRPM8. Immuno-histochemical examination of the expression of TRPM8 channels in human breast tissues revealed an over-expression of TRPM8 in breast adenocarcinomas, which is correlated with estrogen receptor positive (ER+) status of the tumours.
Taken together, these results show that TRPM8 channels are expressed and functional in breast cancer and that their expression is regulated by ER alpha.