Growth hormone signaling in human T47D breast cancer cells: Potential role for a growth hormone Receptor-Prolactin receptor complex

Academic Article

Abstract

  • GH receptor (GHR) and prolactin (PRL) receptor (PRLR) are structurally similar cytokine receptor superfamily members that are highly conserved among species. GH has growth-promoting and metabolic effects in various tissues in vertebrates, including humans. PRL is essential for regulation of lactation in mammals. Recent studies indicate that breast tissue bears GHR and PRLR and that both GH and PRL may impact development or behavior of breast cancer cells. An important facet of human GH (hGH) and human PRL (hPRL) biology is that although hPRL interacts only with hPRLR, hGH binds well to both hGHR and hPRLR. Presently, we investigated potential signaling effects of both hormones in the estrogen receptor- and progesterone receptor-positive human T47D breast cancer cell line. We found that this cell type expresses ample GHR and PRLR and responds well to both hGH and hPRL, as evidenced by activation of the Janus kinase 2/signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 pathway. Immunoprecipitation studies revealed specific GHR-PRLR association in these cells that was acutely enhanced by GH treatment. Although GH caused formation of disulfide-linked and chemically cross-linked GHR dimers in T47D cells, GH preferentially induced tyrosine phosphorylation of PRLR rather than GHR. Notably, both a GHRspecific ligand antagonist (B2036) and a GHR-specific antagonist monoclonal antibody (anti-GHRext-mAb) failed to inhibit GH-induced signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 activation. In contrast, although the non-GHR-specific GH antagonist (G120R) and the PRL antagonist (G129R) individually only partially inhibited GH-induced activation, combined treatment with these two antagonists conferred greater inhibition than either alone. These data indicate that endogenous GHR and PRLR associate (possibly as a GHR-PRLR heterodimer) in human breast cancer cells and that GH signaling in these cells is largely mediated by the PRLR in the context of both PRLR-PRLR homodimers and GHR-PRLR heterodimers, broadening our understanding of how these related hormones and their related receptors may function in physiology and pathophysiology. © 2011 by The Endocrine Society.
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    Author List

  • Xu J; Zhang Y; Berry PA; Jiang J; Lobie PE; Langenheim JF; Chen WY; Frank SJ
  • Start Page

  • 597
  • End Page

  • 610
  • Volume

  • 25
  • Issue

  • 4