The G protein-coupled receptor GPR30 inhibits proliferation of estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer cells.
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The G protein-coupled receptor GPR30 binds 17beta-estradiol (E(2)) yet differs from classic estrogen receptors (ERalpha and ERbeta). GPR30 can mediate E(2)-induced nongenomic signaling, but its role in ERalpha-positive breast cancer remains unclear. Gene expression microarray data from five cohorts comprising 1,250 breast carcinomas showed an association between increased GPR30 expression and ERalpha-positive status. We therefore examined GPR30 in estrogenic activities in ER-positive MCF-7 breast cancer cells using G-1 and diethylstilbestrol (DES), ligands that selectively activate GPR30 and ER, respectively, and small interfering RNAs. In expression studies, E(2) and DES, but not G-1, transiently downregulated both ER and GPR30, indicating that this was ER mediated. In Ca(2+) mobilization studies, GPR30, but not ERalpha, mediated E(2)-induced Ca(2+) responses because E(2), 4-hydroxytamoxifen (activates GPR30), and G-1, but not DES, elicited cytosolic Ca(2+) increases not only in MCF-7 cells but also in ER-negative SKBr3 cells. Additionally, in MCF-7 cells, GPR30 depletion blocked E(2)-induced and G-1-induced Ca(2+) mobilization, but ERalpha depletion did not. Interestingly, GPR30-coupled Ca(2+) responses were sustained and inositol triphosphate receptor mediated in ER-positive MCF-7 cells but transitory and ryanodine receptor mediated in ER-negative SKBr3 cells. Proliferation studies involving GPR30 depletion indicated that the role of GPR30 was to promote SKBr3 cell growth but reduce MCF-7 cell growth. Supporting this, G-1 profoundly inhibited MCF-7 cell growth, potentially via p53 and p21 induction. Further, flow cytometry showed that G-1 blocked MCF-7 cell cycle progression at the G(1) phase. Thus, GPR30 antagonizes growth of ERalpha-positive breast cancer and may represent a new target to combat this disease.