Abstract

Two transcriptional factors, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARγ) and estrogen-related receptor-α (ERRα), have been reported to be key regulators of cellular energy metabolism. However, the relationship between ERRα and PPARγ in the development of endometrial cancer (EC) is still unclear. The expression levels of PPARγ and ERRα in EC were evaluated by quantitative real-time PCR, western blot, tissue array and immunohistochemistry. A significant negative correlation was identified between PPARγ and ERRα expression in women with EC (ρ=-0.509, P<0.001). Bioinformatics analyses showed that PPARγ and ERRα can activate or inhibit the same genes involved in cell proliferation and apoptosis through a similar ModFit. ERRα activation or PPARγ inhibition could promote proliferation and inhibit apoptosis through the Bcl-2/Caspase3 pathways. Both PPARγ and ERRα can serve as serum tumor markers. Surprisingly, as evaluated by receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves and a logistic model, a PPARγ/ERRα ratio≤1.86 (area under the ROC curve (AUC)=0.915, Youden index=0.6633, P<0.001) was an independent risk factor for endometrial carcinogenesis (OR=14.847, 95% CI= 1.6-137.748, P=0.018). EC patients with PPARγ(-)/ERRα(+) had the worst overall survival and disease-free survival rates (both P<0.001). Thus, a dynamic imbalance between PPARγ and ERRα leads to endometrial carcinogenesis and predicts the EC prognosis.