2018 Volume 51 Issue 1 Pages 21-31
Estrogen affects mitochondrial function in various tissues, but the precise mechanism remains unclear. We, therefore investigated the effect on estrogen-regulated mitochondrial morphology by dynamin-related protein 1 (Drp1) and its Ser616-phosphorylated derivative (pDrp1Ser616) are involved in mitochondrial fission. MCF7 human breast cancer cells were treated with 17β-estradiol (E2), an estrogen receptor (ER) α and β antagonist (ICI 182, 780), an ERα antagonist (MPP), and an ERβ antagonist (PHTPP) for 24 hr. The expression of Drp1 and pDrp1Ser616 was analyzed by western blotting and immunohistochemistry. Mitochondrial morphology was analyzed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). In control cells, Drp1 was detected in the cytoplasm of all cells while pDrp1 was observed in the cytoplasm of 3.4 ± 1.0% of the total population. After E2 treatment, pDrp1Ser616-positive cells comprised 30.6 ± 5.6% of the total population, 10.5 ± 1.7% after E2 + ICI treatment, 12.4 ± 4.2% after E2 + MPP treatment, and 24.0 ± 2.2% after E2 + PHTPP treatment. In ERα knockdown MCF7 cells, pDrp1 expression was decreased after E2 treatment compared to E2-treated wild type cells. Tubular pattern mitochondria were found in the control cells but the number of short and small pattern mitochondria (< 0.5 μm2) was significantly increased after E2 treatment (as observed by TEM). We, therefore concluded that the phosphorylation of Drp1 is important for E2-dependent mitochondrial morphological changes through ERα.