Estrogen regulates JNK1 genomic localization to control gene expression and cell growth in breast cancer cells

Miao Sun, Gary D. Isaacs, Nasun Hah, Nina Heldring, Elizabeth A. Fogarty, W. Lee Kraus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


Steroid hormone and MAPK signaling pathways functionally intersect, but the molecular mechanisms of this cross talk are unclear. Here, we demonstrate a functional convergence of the estrogen and c-Jun N-terminal kinase 1 (JNK1) signaling pathways at the genomic level in breast cancer cells.Wefind that JNK1 binds to many promoters across the genome. Although most of the JNK1-binding sites are constitutive, a subset is estrogen regulated (either induced on inhibited). At the estrogen-induced sites, estrogen receptor (ER) is required for the binding of JNK1 by promoting its recruitment to estrogen response elements or other classes of DNA elements through a tethering mechanism, which in some cases involves activating protein-1. At estrogen-regulated promoters, JNK1 functions as a transcriptional coregulator of ERα in a manner that is dependent on its kinase activity. The convergence of ER and JNK1 at target gene promoters regulates estrogen-dependent gene expression outcomes, as well as downstream estrogen-dependent cell growth responses. Analysis of existing gene expression profiles from breast cancer biopsies suggests a role for functional interplay between ERα and JNK1 in the progression and clinical outcome of breast cancers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)736-747
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Endocrinology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2012


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology

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