Activating ESR1 mutations in hormone-resistant metastatic breast cancer

Dan R. Robinson, Yi Mi Wu, Pankaj Vats, Fengyun Su, Robert J. Lonigro, Xuhong Cao, Shanker Kalyana-Sundaram, Rui Wang, Yu Ning, Lynda Hodges, Amy Gursky, Javed Siddiqui, Scott A. Tomlins, Sameek Roychowdhury, Kenneth J. Pienta, Scott Y. Kim, J. Scott Roberts, James M. Rae, Catherine H. Van Poznak, Daniel F. HayesRashmi Chugh, Lakshmi P. Kunju, Moshe Talpaz, Anne F. Schott, Arul M. Chinnaiyan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

638 Scopus citations


Breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer in women, and over two-thirds of cases express estrogen receptor-α (ER-α, encoded by ESR1). Through a prospective clinical sequencing program for advanced cancers, we enrolled 11 patients with ER-positive metastatic breast cancer. Whole-exome and transcriptome analysis showed that six cases harbored mutations of ESR1 affecting its ligand-binding domain (LBD), all of whom had been treated with anti-estrogens and estrogen deprivation therapies. A survey of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) identified four endometrial cancers with similar mutations of ESR1. The five new LBD-localized ESR1 mutations identified here (encoding p.Leu536Gln, p.Tyr537Ser, p.Tyr537Cys, p.Tyr537Asn and p.Asp538Gly) were shown to result in constitutive activity and continued responsiveness to anti-estrogen therapies in vitro. Taken together, these studies suggest that activating mutations in ESR1 are a key mechanism in acquired endocrine resistance in breast cancer therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1446-1451
Number of pages6
JournalNature genetics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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