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Oligoadenylate synthetase 1 (OAS1) expression in human breast and prostate cancer cases, and its regulation by sex steroid hormones

Cláudio Jorge Maia ()
Sandra Moreira Rocha ()
Sílvia Socorro ()
Fernando Schmitt ()
Cecília Reis Santos ()


Oligoadenylate synthetase 1 (OAS1) is an interferon-induced protein characterised by its capacity to catalyse the synthesis of 2ʹ-5ʹ-linked oligomers of adenosine from adenosine triphosphate (2-5A). The 2-5A binds to a latent Ribonuclease L (RNase L), which subsequently dimerises into its active form and may play an important role in the control of cell growth, differentiation and apoptosis. Previously, our research group identified OAS1 as a differentially-expressed gene in breast and prostate cancer cell lines when compared to normal cells. This study evaluates: i) the expression of OAS1 in human breast and prostate cancer specimens; and ii) the effect of sex steroid hormones in regulating the expression of OAS1 in breast (MCF-7) and prostate (LNCaP) cancer cell lines. The obtained results showed that OAS1expression was down-regulated in human infiltrative ductal carcinoma of breast, adenocarcinoma of prostate, and benign prostate hyperplasia, both at mRNA and protein level. In addition, OAS1 expression was negatively correlated with the progression of breast and prostate cancer. With regards to the regulation of OAS1 gene, it was demonstrated that 17β-estradiol (E2) down-regulates OAS1 gene in MCF-7 cell lines, an effect that seems to be dependent on the activation of oestrogen receptor (ER). On the other hand, 5α‑dihydrotestosterone (DHT) treatment showed no effect on the expression of OAS1 in LNCaP cell lines. The lower levels of OAS1 in breast and prostate cancer cases indicated that the OAS1/RNaseL apoptotic pathway may be compromised in breast and prostate tumours. Moreover, the present findings suggested that this effect may be enhanced by oestrogen in ER-positive breast cancers.


OAS1; oestrogen; androgen; breast cancer; prostate cancer

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Copyright (c) 2018 Cláudio Jorge Maia, Sandra Moreira Rocha, Sílvia Socorro, Fernando Schmitt, Cecília Reis Santos

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