2-Methoxyestradiol (2-ME), a naturally occurring mammalian metabolite of 17β-estradiol, has been implicated as a physiological inhibitor of tumor cell proliferation. In this study, the effects of 2-ME on cultured osteosarcomatous cells were investigated. Dose-dependent growth inhibition was observed in MG63 and TE85 human osteosarcoma cells exposed to 2-ME. The cell killing by 2-ME was ligand-specific; the immediate precursor (2-hydroxyestradiol), the parent compound (17β-estradiol), and the equivalent metabolite of estrone (2-methoxyestrone) exhibited less potency and efficacy. Furthermore, 2-ME was similarly effective at killing immortalized human fetal osteoblastic cells (hFOB) with and without estrogen receptor-α and -β and rat osteosarcoma cells (ROS17/2.8). The cytotoxicity of 2-ME was selective to transformed and immortalized osteoblastic cells; 2-ME (2 μm) had no effect on the proliferation of primary cultures of human osteoblasts. Co-treatment with the potent estrogen receptor ligand, ICI-182,780, did not reduce 2-ME-induced osteosarcoma cell death, implying that this action is not mediated by conventional estrogen receptors. The expression levels of bone matrix protein genes, type 1 collagen and osteonectin, were transiently reduced after 2-ME treatment, suggesting that the surviving cells are capable of producing bone matrix. The 2-ME-mediated killing of osteosarcoma cells was due to the induction of apoptosis; treatment induced expression of interferon genes within 12 h and histological evidence of apoptosis within 48 h of 2-ME treatment. Thus, our results demonstrate that 2-ME is highly cytotoxic to osteosarcoma cells but not normal osteoblasts. These findings suggest that further study of 2-ME as a potential intervention for treatment of osteosarcoma is warranted.
- Estrogen metabolism
- Human bone cells
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism