Oncology reports

27-hydroxycholesterol induces the transition of MCF7 cells into a mesenchymal phenotype.

PMID 21567091


A decrease in the expression of E-cadherin and β-catenin, paralleling the loss of adherens junction complex, was observed in MCF7 cells exposed for longer than 48xa0h to 2xa0µM 27-hydroxycholesterol (27OHC), indicating an epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Upon removal of 27OHC from the culture medium, the cells released by the exposure of 72xa0h to the oxysterol grew as loosely packed cell groups. In these cells, accumulation of E-cadherin and β-catenin in the cytoplasm and the prolonged expression of epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (EGFR2/neu) in the plasma membrane were observed, suggesting that the acquired phenotype was related to the expression of this tyrosine kinase-growth factor receptor. The results presented here are discussed on the basis of the claimed relationship between 27OHC, hypercholesterolemia, macrophage infiltration and therapy-resistant ERα+ breast cancer incidence.