Cadmium induces progesterone receptor gene expression via activation of estrogen receptor in human ovarian cancer cells

Negar Ataei , Mahmoud Aghaei, Mojtaba Panjehpour Panjehpour


Cadmium (Cd) as a metalloesterogen may have a role in development of ovarian cancer. One of the critical target genes of estrogens is progesterone receptors (PRs). There are controversial studies on association between Cd, PRs, and cell proliferation. This study investigates the effect of Cd on proliferation of ovarian cancer cell lines, PRA and PRB expression and their relationship. OVCAR3 and SKOV3 cells were treated with CdCl2 (1-100 nM) and cell proliferation was assayed using bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) method. The mechanism underlying the proliferative effect of Cd mediated by PRs was examined using cell transfection with PR- small interfering RNA (siRNA) and western blot analysis. Our results showed the involvement of PRs in Cd induced proliferation of ovarian cancer cells. Progesterone receptors are involved in proliferative effect of Cd. Moreover, Cd modified the expression of PRA and PRB and induced ovarian cancer cell proliferation through the change of PRA/PRB ratio. In conclusion, there is a mechanistic association between Cd effects on ovarian cancer cell proliferation, estrogen receptors and PRs expression.


Cadmium; Ovarian cancer; Progesterone receptor.

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