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GPER activates Notch signaling in breast cancer

GPER activates Notch signaling in breast cancer cells and cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs)

The G protein-coupled receptor GPR30/GPER has been shown to mediate rapid effects of 17-estradiol (E2) in diverse types of cancer cells. Here, we provide evidence for a novel crosstalk between GPER and the Notch signaling pathway in breast cancer cells and cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs). We show that E2 and the GPER selective ligand G-1 induce both the -secretase-dependent activation of Notch-1 and the expression of the Notch target gene Hes-1. These inductions are prevented by knocking down GPER or by using a dominant-negative mutant of the Notch transcriptional co-activator Master-mind like-1 (DN-MAML-1), hence suggesting the involvement of GPER in the Notch-dependent transcription. By performing chromatin-immunoprecipitation experiments and luciferase assays, we also demonstrate that E2 and G-1 induce the recruitment of the intracellular domain of Notch-1 (N1ICD) to the Hes-1 promoter and the transactivation of a Hes-1-reporter gene, respectively. Functionally, the E2 and G-1-
induced migration of breast cancer cells and CAFs is abolished in presence of the -secretase inhibitor GSI or DN-MAML-1, which both inhibit the Notch signaling pathway. In addition, we demonstrate that E2 and G-1 prevent the expression of VE-Cadherin, while both compounds induce the expression of Snail, a Notch target gene acting as a repressor of cadherins expression. Notably, both GSI and DN-MAML-1 abolish the up-regulation of Snail-1 by E2 and G-1, whereas the use of GSI rescues VE-Cadherin expression. Taken together, our results prove the involvement of the Notch signaling pathway in mediating the effects of estrogenic GPER signaling in breast cancer cells and CAFs.

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