Background:Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) represents about 10-15% of all breast cancers. Given the lack of targeted therapies, chemotherapy and immunotherapy are the only treatment options. The five-year survival rate of TNBC patients is approximately 15% less than other forms of breast cancer. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop novel effective therapeutics for TNBC.Material and Methods:RNA isolated from human immortalized mammary epithelial MCF10A, and various TNBC cell lines was DNase treated and quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) performed using gene-specific primers spanning exon-exon junctions that include introns in the corresponding genomic sequence to avoid genomic DNA amplification. Gene expression was calculated by ΔΔCt method using GAPDH as an internal control. Immuno-blot analyses were performed on lysates prepared from cells in log phase of growth. Proteins were detected by Enhanced Chemi-Luminescence (ECL) method. Viability of cells treated with ERβ specific agonists was determined by using CellTiter-Glo® 2.0 assay. MB231 cells were treated with ERβ agonists following transfection with pcDNA3 (vector) or Flag-tagged ESR2 plasmids. Western blot analyses using specific antibodies and qRT-PCR were performed with the protein extracts and RNA isolated from the cells, respectively. Results:Our experiments demonstrate that ESR2 (ERβ) is differentially expressed and its level of expression is about 3 to 22-fold higher in TNBC cell lines tested than MCF10A. We have shown that viability of estrogen receptor (ER) positive breast cancer cell lines can be significantly inhibited by selective activation of ERβ. A highly selective ERβ agonist has been invented in the Drug Development Institute at the Ohio State University. Treatment of TNBC lines with these ERβ agonists exhibited a dramatic reduction of cell viability. While comparable IC50 values were observed with our in house and commercially available compounds, TNBC had 2-3-fold lesser IC50 values than ER-positive cell lines. Increased expression of FOXO3 and c-Myc1 and decreased expression of c-Myc2 isoform was noted in ERβ overexpressing MB231 cells upon treatment with ERβ agonists.Conclusion:Our results demonstrate that treatment with highly selective ERβ agonists could be an effective therapeutic strategy for TNBC patients. To improve and develop novel therapeutics for TNBC understanding the mechanism of action of these compounds will be crucial.

Citation Format: Jharna Datta, Natalie Willingham, Jasmine Manouchehri, Joel David, Mirisha Sheth, Bhuvaneswari Ramaswamy, Ramesh Ganju, Mathew A Cherian. Estrogen receptor beta agonists for triple negative breast cancer [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 2020 San Antonio Breast Cancer Virtual Symposium; 2020 Dec 8-11; San Antonio, TX. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2021;81(4 Suppl):Abstract nr PS18-39.