Aurora A and B overexpression and centrosome amplification in early estrogen-induced tumor foci in the Syrian hamster kidney: Implications for chromosomal instability, aneuploidy, and neoplasia

Adrianne E. Hontz, Sara Antonia Li, Wilma L. Lingle, Vivian Negron, Amy Bruzek, Jeffrey L. Salisbury, Jonathan J. Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Scopus citations


Estrogen-induced Syrian hamster tumors in the kidney represent a useful model to gain insight into the role of estrogens in oncogenic processes. We provided evidence that early tumor foci in the kidney arise from interstitial ectopic uterine-like germinal stem cells, and that early tumor foci and well-established tumors are highly aneuploid (92-94%). The molecular mechanisms whereby estrogens mediate this process are unclear. Here, we report that estrogen treatment induced significant increases in Aurora A protein expression (8.7-fold), activity (2.6-fold), mRNA (6.0-fold), and Aurora B protein expression (4.6-fold) in tumors, compared with age-matched cholesterol-treated kidneys. Immunohistochemistry revealed that this increase in Aurora A and B protein expression was essentially confined to cells within early and large tumor foci at 3.5 and 6 months of estrogen treatment, respectively. Upon estrogen withdrawal or coadministration of tamoxifen for 10 days, a 78% to 79% and 81% to 64% reduction in Aurora A and B expression, respectively, were observed in primary tumors compared with tumors continuously exposed to estrogens. These data indicate that overexpressed Aurora A and B in these tumors are under estrogen control via estrogen receptor a. Aurora A coenriched with the centrosome fraction isolated from tumors in the kidney. Centrosome amplification (number and area/cell) was detected in early tumor foci and large tumors but not in adjacent uninvolved or age-matched control kidneys. Taken together, these data indicate that persistent overexpression of Aurora A and B is under estrogen control, and is coincident with centrosome amplification, chromosomal instability, and aneuploidy, and represent an important mechanism driving tumorigenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2957-2963
Number of pages7
JournalCancer research
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2007


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

Cite this