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There is considerable interest in the potential use of estrogen derivatives for the treatment and prevention of breast cancer. We demonstrated previously that the sulfamoylated estrone derivative 2-methoxyestrone-3-O-sulfamate (2-MeOEMATE) induced G2-M cell cycle arrest and modest levels of apoptosis in breast cancer cells in vitro, whereas the parent estrone derivative, 2-methoxyestrone, did not. 2-MeOEMATE also induced breast tumor regression in vivo in intact rats. To further explore the significance of sulfamoylation on the anticancer activity of estrone derivatives and to elucidate their mechanism of action, we synthesized two additional agents, 2-ethylestrone and 2-ethylestrone-3-O-sulfamate (2EtEMATE). 2-MeOEMATE and 2-EtEMATE inhibited the growth of a panel of estrogen receptor-negative and -positive breast cancer cell lines in vitro, induced mitotic arrest and apoptosis, and suppressed the long-term clonogenic potential of MCF7 and CAL51 breast cancer cells. In each assay, the sulfamoylated estrone derivatives were >10-fold more potent than their parent compounds. The sulfamoylated estrone derivatives were also significantly more potent inhibitors of cell growth than the previously studied endogenous estradiol metabolite 2-methoxyestradiol. 2-MeOEMATE and 2-EtEMATE functioned as antimicrotubule agents and inhibited the ability of paclitaxel to promote tubulin assembly in vitro. Like other antimicrotubule agents, the sulfamoylated estrone derivatives induced BCL-2 and BCL-XL phosphorylation and increased p53 expression. 2-MeOEMATE and 2-EtEMATE are novel antimicrotubule agents that have potent anticancer activity in breast cancer cells in vitro and may be beneficial as anticancer agents in vivo.


Journal article


Cancer Res

Publication Date





5441 - 5450


Antineoplastic Agents, Apoptosis, Breast Neoplasms, Cell Cycle, Cell Division, Estrone, Humans, Hydroxyestrones, Microtubules, Mitosis, Tubulin, Tumor Cells, Cultured