Associations between p160 coactivator proteins and the development of resistance to endocrine treatment have been described. We hypothesized that nuclear receptor coregulatory proteins may interact with nonsteroid receptors. We investigated the mitogen-activated protein kinase-activated transcription factors, Ets, as possible interaction proteins for the coactivators SRC-1 and AIB1 and the corepressor NCoR in human breast cancer. Expression and coexpression of Ets and the coregulatory proteins was investigated using immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence in a cohort of breast tumor patients (N = 134). Protein expression, protein-DNA interactions and protein-protein interactions were assessed using Western blot, electromobility shift, and coimmunoprecipitation analysis, respectively. Ets-1 and Ets-2 associated with reduced disease-free survival (P < 0.0292, P < 0.0001, respectively), whereas NCoR was a positive prognostic indicator (P < 0.0297). Up-regulation of Ets-1 protein expression in cell cultures derived from patient tumors in the presence of growth factors associated with tumor grade (P < 0.0013; n = 28). In primary breast tumor cell cultures and in the SKBR3 breast cell line, growth factors induced interaction between Ets and their DNA response element, induced recruitment of coactivators to the transcription factor-DNA complex, and up-regulated protein expression of HER2. Ets-1 and Ets-2 interacted with the coregulators under basal conditions, and growth factors up-regulated Ets-2 interaction with SRC-1 and AIB1. Coexpression of Ets-2 and SRC-1 significantly associated with the rate of recurrence and HER expression, compared with patients who expressed Ets-2 but not SRC-1 (P < 0.0001 and P < 0.0001, respectively). These data describe associations and interactions between nonsteroid transcription factors and coregulatory proteins in human breast cancer.
University College Dublin ->