Zhang L, Cui J, Leonard M, Nephew K, Li Y, Zhang X
Pure anti-estrogen fulvestrant has been shown to be a promising ER antagonist for locally advanced and metastatic breast cancer. Unfortunately, a significant proportion of patients developed resistance to this type of endocrine therapy but the molecular mechanisms governing cellular responsiveness to this agent remain poorly understood. Here, we've reported that knockdown of estrogen receptor coactivator MED1 sensitized fulvestrant resistance breast cancer cells to fulvestrant treatment. We found that MED1 knockdown further promoted cell cycle arrest induced by fulvestrant. Using an orthotopic xenograft mouse model, we found that knockdown of MED1 significantly reduced tumor growth in mice. Importantly, knockdown of MED1 further potentiated tumor growth inhibition by fulvestrant. Mechanistic studies indicated that combination of fulvestrant treatment and MED1 knockdown is able to cooperatively inhibit the expression of ER target genes. Chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments further supported a role for MED1 in regulating the recruitment of RNA polymerase II and transcriptional corepressor HDAC1 on endogenous ER target gene promoter in the presence of fulvestrant. These results demonstrate a role for MED1 in mediating resistance to the pure anti-estrogen fulvestrant both in vitro and in vivo.