Estrogen receptor (ER) functions as a ligand-activated transcription factor for estrogen-regulated genes. Because of the critical role of the ER in the proliferation of certain estrogen-dependent cancer cell types such as the mammary tumor, inhibitors of estrogen action at the level of receptor function are of major clinical interest. Here we describe developments of two ribozymes that can selectively degrade the human ER mRNA and inhibit trans-activation of an artificial promoter containing the estrogen response element. Two ribozymes, designated RZ-1 and RZ-2, cleave the human ERα mRNA at nucleotide positions +956 and +889, respectively. These cleavage sites lie within the coding sequence for the DNA-binding domain of the receptor protein. Both RZ-1 and RZ-2 were also effective in inhibiting the progression of quiescent MCF-7 breast cancer cells to the S phase of the cell cycle after their exposure to 17β-estradiol (10-9 M). These results provide a new avenue for inhibition of estrogen action by selective mRNA degradation with its potential therapeutic application through targeted gene delivery vectors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology