Summer Research

* Student(s): Bethsebah Gekonge
Advisor: Stephen Festin

Title: An evaluation of the effect of Tamxoifen and AFP 8-mer on activation of transcription by Estrogen in MCF-7 cells


MCF-7 cells are derived directly from a human breast tumor. MCF-7 cells actively produce the estrogen receptor, a nuclear hormone binding protein that activates the transcription of target genes when bound to estrogen. Tamoxifen is an antiestrogen that competes with estrogen for the binding site on the estrogen receptor. When MCF-7 cells are exposed to both tamoxifen and estrogen, tamoxifen binds to the receptor and prevents the activation of transcription. Alpha-fetoprotein is a serum glycoprotein produced by the developing fetus that has been shown to behave as an antiestrogen in MCF-7 cells. The main aim of our project was to determine whether or not alpha-fetoprotein and tamoxifen co-operate when MCF-7 cells are exposed to both antiestrogenic agents. Overall, we were able to evaluate the potency of Estrogen stimulation, and determine the inhibition of this stimulation by doing dose response experiments with Tamoxifen. The data collected, enabled us to determine the 'ideal' inhibition concentration.

Stipend support for BG was provided by Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation.