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Tamoxifen is a potent inhibitor of cholesterol esterification and prevents the formation of foam cells.

Abstract : Tamoxifen is a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM) used for the treatment and prevention of breast cancer. Tamoxifen has been reported to protect against the progression of coronary artery diseases in human and different atherosclerosis animal models by blocking the appearance of the atheromatous plaque. However, the molecular mechanism of this effect remains unknown. Acyl-CoA:cholesterol acyl transferase (ACAT) catalyzes the biosynthesis of cholesteryl esters, which are the major lipids found in the atheromatous plaque. In this paper we have tested whether ACAT might be inhibited by tamoxifen. We show, using molecular modeling, that tamoxifen displays three-dimensional structural homology with Sah 58-035 (3-[decyldimethylsilyl]-N-[2-(4-methylphenyl)-1-phenylethyl]-propanamide), a prototypical inhibitor of ACAT. We report that tamoxifen inhibits ACAT in a concentration-dependent manner on rat liver microsomal extract. We show that the presence on estrogen receptor ligands of a backbone isosteric to the diphenyl ethane backbone of Sah 58-035 constitutes a pharmacophore for ACAT inhibition. More importantly, tamoxifen was able to inhibit ACAT on intact macrophages stimulated with acetylated low-density lipoproteins and blocked the formation of foam cells, a step that precedes the formation of the atheromatous plaque. This work constitutes the first evidence that tamoxifen is an inhibitor of ACAT and foam cell formation at therapeutic doses and that this may account for its atheroprotective action.
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Contributor : Marc Poirot <>
Submitted on : Saturday, September 2, 2006 - 11:53:37 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, February 24, 2021 - 11:22:03 AM




Philippe de Médina, Bruno Payré, José Bernad, Isabelle Bosser, Bernard Pipy, et al.. Tamoxifen is a potent inhibitor of cholesterol esterification and prevents the formation of foam cells.. J Pharmacol Exp Ther, 2004, 308, pp.1165-73. ⟨10.1124/jpet.103.060426⟩. ⟨inserm-00090774⟩



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