The first decade of estrogen receptor cistromics in breast cancer.


The advent of genome-wide transcription factor profiling has revolutionized the field of breast cancer research. Estrogen receptor α (ERα), the major drug target in hormone receptor-positive breast cancer, has been known as a key transcriptional regulator in tumor progression for over 30 years. Even though this function of ERα is heavily exploited and widely accepted as an Achilles heel for hormonal breast cancer, only since the last decade we have been able to understand how this transcription factor is functioning on a genome-wide scale. Initial ChIP-on-chip (chromatin immunoprecipitation coupled with tiling array) analyses have taught us that ERα is an enhancer-associated factor binding to many thousands of sites throughout the human genome and revealed the identity of a number of directly interacting transcription factors that are essential for ERα action. More recently, with the development of massive parallel sequencing technologies and refinements thereof in sample processing, a genome-wide interrogation of ERα has become feasible and affordable with unprecedented data quality and richness. These studies have revealed numerous additional biological insights into ERα behavior in cell lines and especially in clinical specimens. Therefore, what have we actually learned during this first decade of cistromics in breast cancer and where may future developments in the field take us?

More about this publication

The Journal of endocrinology
  • Volume 229
  • Issue nr. 2
  • Pages R43-56
  • Publication date 01-05-2016

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