GPER functions as a tumor suppressor in MCF-7 and SK-BR-3 breast cancer cells

  • Christine Weißenborn
  • Tanja Ignatov
  • Angela Poehlmann
  • Anja K. Wege
  • Serban D. Costa
  • Ana Claudia Zenclussen
  • Atanas IgnatovEmail author
Original Article – Cancer Research



The orphan, membrane-bound estrogen receptor (GPER) is expressed at high levels in a large fraction of breast cancer patients, and its expression is favorable for patients’ survival. We investigated the role of GPER as a potential tumor suppressor in MCF-7 and SK-BR-3 breast cancer cells.


The effect of GPER agonist G-1 in cell culture was used to determine whether GPER inhibit cell growth. The methylation status of GPER promoter was investigated by methylation-specific PCR.


GPER-specific agonist G-1 inhibited breast cancer cell proliferation in concentration-dependent manner via induction of the cell cycle arrest in M-phase, enhanced phosphorylation of histone 3 and cell apoptosis. Analysis of the methylation status of the GPER promoter in MCF-7 and SK-BR-3 cells revealed that GPER expression is regulated by epigenetic mechanisms and GPER expression is inactivated by promoter methylation. Overall, our results are consistent with our recent findings in triple-negative breast cancer cells, and the cell surface expression of GPER makes it an excellent potential therapeutic target for non-triple-negative breast cancer.


GPER GPR30 Breast cancer Tumor suppressor 



This work was supported by Deutsche Krebshilfe to AI.

Conflict of interest

We declare that we have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christine Weißenborn
    • 1
    • 2
  • Tanja Ignatov
    • 1
  • Angela Poehlmann
    • 3
  • Anja K. Wege
    • 4
  • Serban D. Costa
    • 1
  • Ana Claudia Zenclussen
    • 2
  • Atanas Ignatov
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyUniversity Clinic MagdeburgMagdeburgGermany
  2. 2.Department of Experimental Obstetrics and GynaecologyUniversity Clinic MagdeburgMagdeburgGermany
  3. 3.Department of PathologyUniversity Clinic MagdeburgMagdeburgGermany
  4. 4.Clinic of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Caritas Hospital St. JosefUniversity of RegensburgRegensburgGermany

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