Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) has been shown to promote breast cancer growth via different mechanisms. In addition to binding to ERa, the DHT membrane receptor exists on integrin avβ3. Resveratrol induces p53-dependent apoptosis via plasma membrane integrin avβ3. Resveratrol and DHT signals are both transduced by activated ERK1/2; however, DHT promotes cell proliferation in cancer cells, whereas resveratrol is proapoptotic. In this study, we examined the mechanism by which DHT inhibits resveratrolinduced apoptosis in human ERa positive (MCF-7) and negative (MDA-MB-231) breast cancer cells. DHT inhibited resveratrol-stimulated phosphorylation of Ser-15 of p53 in a concentration-dependent manner. These effects of DHT on resveratrol action were blocked by an ERa antagonist, ICI 182,780, in MCF-7 breast cancer cells. DHT inhibited resveratrol-induced nuclear complex of p53-COX-2 formation which is required p53- dependent apoptosis. ChIP studies of COX-2/p53 binding to DNA and expression of p53-responsive genes indicated that DHT inhibited resveratrol-induced p53-directed transcriptional activity. In addition, DHT did inhibit resveratrol-induced COX-2/p53- dependent gene expression. These results suggest that DHT inhibits p53-dependent apoptosis in breast cancer cells by interfering with nuclear COX-2 accumulation which is essential for stimulation of apoptotic pathways. Thus, the surface receptor sites for resveratrol and DHT are discrete and activate ERK1/2-dependent downstream effects on apoptosis that are distinctive. These studies provide new insights into the antagonizing effects of resveratrol versus DHT, an important step toward better understanding and eventually treating breast cancer. It also indicates the complex pathways by which apoptosis is induced by resveratrol in DHT-depleted and -repleted environments.
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