The vitamin D receptor is involved in the regulation of human breast cancer cell growth via a ligand-independent function in cytoplasm

Trupti Trivedi, Yu Zheng, Pierrick G.J. Fournier, Sreemala Murthy, Sutha John, Suzanne Schillo, Colin R. Dunstan, Khalid S. Mohammad, Hong Zhou, Markus J. Seibel, Theresa A. Guise

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Vitamin D has pleiotropic effects on multiple tissues, including malignant tumors. Vitamin D inhibits breast cancer growth through activation of the vitamin D receptor (VDR) and via classical nuclear signaling pathways. Here, we demonstrate that the VDR can also function in the absence of its ligand to control behaviour of human breast cancer cells both outside and within the bone microenvironment. Stable shRNA expression was used to knock down VDR expression in MCF-7 cells, generating two VDR knockdown clonal lines. In ligand-free culture, knockdown of VDR in MCF-7 cells significantly reduced proliferation and increased apoptosis, suggesting that the VDR plays a ligand-independent role in cancer cell growth. Implantation of these VDR knockdown cells into the mammary fat pad of nude mice resulted in reduced tumor growth in vivo compared with controls. In the intra-tibial xenograft model, VDR knockdown greatly reduced the ability of the cells to form tumors in the bone microenvironment. The in vitro growth of VDR knockdown cells was rescued by the expression of a mutant form of VDR which is unable to translocate to the nucleus and hence accumulates in the cytoplasm. Thus, our data indicate that in the absence of ligand, the VDR promotes breast cancer growth both in vitro and in vivo and that cytoplasmic accumulation of VDR is sufficient to produce this effect in vitro. This new mechanism of VDR action in breast cancer cells contrasts the known anti-proliferative nuclear actions of the VDR-vitamin D ligand complex.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26687-26701
Number of pages15
JournalOncotarget
Volume8
Issue number16
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

Keywords

  • Bone metastasis
  • Breast cancer
  • Ligand independent
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin D receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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    Trivedi, T., Zheng, Y., Fournier, P. G. J., Murthy, S., John, S., Schillo, S., Dunstan, C. R., Mohammad, K. S., Zhou, H., Seibel, M. J., & Guise, T. A. (2017). The vitamin D receptor is involved in the regulation of human breast cancer cell growth via a ligand-independent function in cytoplasm. Oncotarget, 8(16), 26687-26701. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.15803