We have examined the effect of progestin on the regulation of cellular progesterone receptor (PR) levels and have used dense amino acid-density shift experiments to determine the mechanism by which progestin markedly decreases PR. We have utilized T47D human breast cancer cells which contain high levels of PR and are progestin responsive. When these cells are exposed to the progestin R5020, there is a timeand concentration-dependent decrease in PR levels. Experiments with different concentrations of R5020 reveal that the rate and extent of PR decrease reflect the time course of receptor occupancy and the fractional saturation of receptor. With a high concentration of ligand (20 nM) that labels all receptors rapidly, reductions in PR levels (processing) occur immediately and proceed rapidly to levels that are 15–20% of the initial; at lower concentrations (5 nM), where it takes several hours to achieve full saturation of receptors, there is a delay before the maximal rate of processing develops and then continues to achieve final receptor levels that are 15–20% of the initial; with a low concentration of ligand (0.5 nM), binding is even slower and never reaches full receptor saturation, with the consequence that processing is not only delayed but also less complete. Immunochemical detection of PR with a monoclonal antibody (B39) reveals a good correspondence between the loss of immunoreactive and hormone binding PR, and analysis of the A (Mr 85,000) and B (Mr 115,000) receptor forms on Western blots demonstrates that both A and B receptor forms are reduced after exposure to R5020. Density labeling of PR by biosynthetic incorporation of 2H, 13C, 15N (dense) amino acids reveals that PR turns over with a half-life of 21 h in control cells. In cells exposed to 20 nM R5020, PR levels decline and receptor half-life is reduced to 6 h. In addition, there is also a time-dependent decrease in the rate constant of PR synthesis, K8, which decreases to less than 10% of its initial value after 24 h of R5020 exposure. Thus, the R5020-evoked reduction in PR levels in this progestin-sensitive cell line is due both to a marked increase in the rate of receptor degradation as well as a dramatic decrease in the rate of receptor synthesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas