Molecular characterization of the microsomal tamoxifen binding site. - Inserm - Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale Access content directly
Journal Articles Journal of Biological Chemistry Year : 2004

Molecular characterization of the microsomal tamoxifen binding site.


Tamoxifen is a selective estrogen receptor modulator widely used for the prophylactic treatment of breast cancer. In addition to the estrogen receptor (ER), tamoxifen binds with high affinity to the microsomal antiestrogen binding site (AEBS), which is involved in ER-independent effects of tamoxifen. In the present study, we investigate the modulation of the biosynthesis of cholesterol in tumor cell lines by AEBS ligands. As a consequence of the treatment with the antitumoral drugs tamoxifen or PBPE, a selective AEBS ligand, we show that tumor cells produced a significant concentration- and time-dependent accumulation of cholesterol precursors. Sterols have been purified by HPLC and gas chromatography, and their chemical structures determined by mass spectrometric analysis. The major metabolites identified were 5alpha-cholest-8-en-3beta-ol for tamoxifen treatment and 5alpha-cholest-8-en-3beta-ol and cholesta-5,7-dien-3beta-ol, for PBPE treatment, suggesting that these AEBS ligands affect at least two enzymatic steps: the 3beta-hydroxysterol-Delta8-Delta7-isomerase and the 3beta-hydroxysterol-Delta7-reductase. Steroidal antiestrogens such as ICI 182,780 and RU 58,668 did not affect these enzymatic steps, because they do not bind to the AEBS. Transient co-expression of human 3beta-hydroxysterol-Delta8-Delta7-isomerase and 3beta-hydroxysterol-Delta7-reductase and immunoprecipitation experiments showed that both enzymes were required to reconstitute the AEBS in mammalian cells. Altogether, these data provide strong evidence that the AEBS is a hetero-oligomeric complex including 3beta-hydroxysterol-Delta8-Delta7-isomerase and the 3beta-hydroxysterol-Delta7-reductase as subunits that are necessary and sufficient for tamoxifen binding in mammary cells. Furthermore, because selective AEBS ligands are antitumoral compounds, these data suggest a link between cholesterol metabolism at a post-lanosterol step and tumor growth control. These data afford both the identification of the AEBS and give new insight into a novel molecular mechanism of action for drugs of clinical value.

Dates and versions

inserm-00090773 , version 1 (02-09-2006)



Blandine Kedjouar, Philippe de Médina, Mustapha Oulad-Abdelghani, Bruno Payré, Sandrine Silvente-Poirot, et al.. Molecular characterization of the microsomal tamoxifen binding site.. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2004, 279, pp.34048-61. ⟨10.1074/jbc.M405230200⟩. ⟨inserm-00090773⟩
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