Pathology & Oncology Research

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 329–334 | Cite as

Estrogen Receptors in Regulating Cell Proliferation of Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Involvement of Intracellular Ca2+ Signaling

  • Zhe Zhang
  • Qinsi He
  • Si Fu
  • Zhi ZhengEmail author
Original Article


Esophageal cancer is a deadly disease in the esophagus with a poor prognosis. Over 90 % of esophageal cancer is esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) and its pathogenic mechanisms remain unclear. Epidemiology study found a strong gender difference with a sex ratio of 8–9:1 in favor of males, but the molecular mechanisms for so striking gender difference are poorly understood so far. In the present study, we demonstrated the expression of estrogen receptors in human ESCC cells. 17β-E2 but not 17α-E2 was found to dose-dependently suppress the cell proliferation of human ESCC cells, which was attenuated by estrogen receptor antagonist ICI1 82,780. Furthermore, 17β -E2 but not 17α-E2 10 nM markedly induced both intracellular Ca2+ release and extracellular Ca2+ entry into ESCC cells, which was again attenuated by estrogen receptor antagonist ICI182,780. Taken together, our data clearly demonstrate that estrogen exerts anti-proliferative action on human ESCC cells likely through estrogen receptor-Ca2+ signaling pathway, which may provide a reasonable explanation on the striking male predominance of ESCC.


Estrogen receptor Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma Gender difference Cell proliferation Ca2+ signaling 



This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81260592). The funding institutes had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare no competing financial interest.


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Copyright information

© Arányi Lajos Foundation 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chinese Medical Gastrointestinal of China-Japan Friendship HospitalBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Medicl College of Nanchang UniversityNanchangPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Jiangxi Provincial Key Lab of Oncology Translation MedicineJiangxi Cancer HospitalNanchangPeople’s Republic of China

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