Staphylococcus aureus-Derived Extracellular Vesicles Enhance the Efficacy of Endocrine Therapy in Breast Cancer Cells

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The microbiome involved in the human estrogen metabolism is known as the estrobolome. This study aimed to show that the estrobolome can be used in breast cancer treatment. We first analyzed the blood microbiome composition of healthy controls and patients with breast cancer. In particular, we investigated the bacteria producing β−glucuronidase and/or β−galactosidase, which are involved in estrogen metabolism in the human body. Staphylococcus species were more abundant in healthy controls than in breast cancer patients and therefore were selected for further analyses. The effect of Staphylococcus aureus on endocrine therapy was analyzed by a combination treatment with tamoxifen. Analysis of the microbiome of blood samples showed that species producing β−glucuronidase were more abundant in breast cancer patients than in healthy controls. Further experiments confirmed that the efficacy of tamoxifen increased when administered in conjugation with the extracellular vesicles (EVs) of S. aureus. Based on our results, we deduced that S. aureus EVs could potentially be used as adjuvants for breast cancer treatment in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2030
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIT) (NRF-2021R1A2C1014094).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Staphylococcus
  • bacterial extracellular vesicle
  • breast cancer
  • microbiome


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