The Forkhead box M1 protein regulates the transcription of the estrogen receptor alpha in breast cancer cells

Patricia A Madureira, Rana Varshochi, Demetra Constantinidou, Richard E Francis, R Charles Coombes, Kwok-Ming Yao, Eric W-F Lam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this study, we have identified the Forkhead transcription factor FoxM1 as a physiological regulator of estrogen receptor alpha (ERalpha) expression in breast carcinoma cells. Our survey of a panel of 16 different breast cell lines showed a good correlation (13/16) between FoxM1 expression and expression of ERalpha at both protein and mRNA levels. We have also demonstrated that ectopic expression of FoxM1 in two different estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer cell lines, MCF-7 and ZR-75-30, led to up-regulation of ERalpha expression at protein and transcript levels. Furthermore, treatment of MCF-7 cells with the MEK inhibitor U0126, which blocks ERK1/2-dependent activation of FoxM1, also repressed ERalpha expression. Consistent with this, silencing of FoxM1 expression in MCF-7 cells using small interfering RNA resulted in the almost complete abrogation of ERalpha expression. We also went on to show that FoxM1 can activate the transcriptional activity of human ERalpha promoter primarily through two closely located Forkhead response elements located at the proximal region of the ERalpha promoter. Chromatin immunoprecipitation and biotinylated oligonucleotide pulldown assays have allowed us to confirm these Forkhead response elements as important for FoxM1 binding. Further co-immunoprecipitation experiments showed that FoxO3a and FoxM1 interact in vivo. Together with the chromatin immunoprecipitation and biotinylated oligonucleotide pulldown data, the co-immunoprecipitation results also suggest the possibility that FoxM1 and FoxO3a cooperate to regulate ERalpha gene transcription.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25167-25176
Number of pages10
JournalThe Journal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number35
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2006


  • Biotinylation
  • Breast Neoplasms/metabolism
  • Cell Cycle
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Estrogen Receptor alpha/biosynthesis
  • Forkhead Box Protein M1
  • Forkhead Box Protein O3
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors/chemistry
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Models, Genetic
  • Oligonucleotides/chemistry
  • RNA, Messenger/metabolism
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Up-Regulation


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