• The Effects of Perfuorooctanoic Acid on Expression of Estrogen Receptor Alpha MRNA and Protein in Mcf-7 Cells

      Gillen, Laura; Peloquin, Rachel; Department of Biological Sciences (2016-03)
      Endocrine disruptors, such as Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), are known to interfere with normal hormonal processes and could lead to detrimental effects on development and reproduction. PFOA is a ligand to peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs), which have been demonstrated to crosstalk with estrogen receptors. Previous studies in our lab have demonstrated that treatment of MCF-7 breast cancer cells with 100μM PFOA significantly decreases cell viability. As both isoforms of the estrogen receptor (ER), alpha and beta, have been shown to regulate proliferation and apoptosis, this study aims to determine whether the decrease in viability is associated with changes in the expression of estrogen receptor. Cells were treated for 24h and 48h with vehicle (DMSO), 50μM and 100μM PFOA then harvested for either RNA or protein isolation. PCR analysis revealed minimal expression of ER beta in MCF-7 cells, consistent with the literature. ER alpha mRNA levels were significantly reduced by 24h in cells treated with both 50μM and 100μM PFOA. We are in the process of running western blots to determine whether or not there is a similar decrease in ER alpha protein levels in MCF-7 cells treated with PFOA. Funding Source: Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship and Department of Biological Sciences