Single-cell states in the estrogen response of breast cancer cell lines

Francesco Paolo Casale, Giorgio Giurato, Giovanni Nassa, Jonathan W. Armond, Chris J. Oates, Davide Corá, Andrea Gamba, Sach Mukherjee, Alessandro Weisz, Mario Nicodemi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Estrogen responsive breast cancer cell lines have been extensively studied to characterize transcriptional patterns in hormone-responsive tumors. Nevertheless, due to current technological limitations, genome-wide studies have typically been limited to population averaged data. Here we obtain, for the first time, a characterization at the single-cell level of the states and expression signatures of a hormone-starved MCF-7 cell system responding to estrogen. To do so, we employ a recently proposed model that allows for dissecting single-cell states from time-course microarray data. We show that within 32 hours following stimulation, MCF-7 cells traverse, most likely, six states, with a faster early response followed by a progressive deceleration. We also derive the genome-wide transcriptional profiles of such single-cell states and their functional characterization. Our results support a scenario where estrogen promotes cell cycle progression by controlling multiple, sequential regulatory steps, whose single-cell events are here identified.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere88485
JournalPLoS One
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 25 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Single-cell states in the estrogen response of breast cancer cell lines'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this