: In the last decade, cholesterol level has been implicated in several types of cancer, including breast cancer. In the current study, we aimed to investigate the condition of lipid depletion, hypocholesterolemia or hypercholesterolemia reproduced in vitro to analyze the response of different human breast cancer cells. Thus, MCF7 as the luminal A model, MB453 as the HER2 model and MB231 as the triple-negative model were used. No effect on cell growth and viability was detected in MB453 and MB231 cells. In MCF7 cells, hypocholesterolemia (1) reduced cell growth, and Ki67 expression; (2) increased ER/PgR expression; (3) stimulated the 3-Hydroxy-3-Methylglutaryl-CoA reductase and neutral sphingomyelinase and; (4) stimulated the expression of CDKN1A gene coding cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1A protein, GADD45A coding growth arrest and DNA-damage-inducible alpha protein and, PTEN gene coding phosphatase and tensin homolog. All these effects were exacerbated by the lipid-depleted condition and reversed by the hypercholesterolemic condition. The relationship between cholesterol level and sphingomyelin metabolism was demonstrated. In summary, our data suggest that cholesterol levels should be controlled in luminal A breast cancer.
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