Author(s): Dudley MW, Sheeler CQ, Wang H, Khan S
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Abstract The antiestrogens tamoxifen and ICI 182,780 have been portrayed as competitive antagonists of the estrogen binding site of the alpha-form of the human estrogen receptor (ER). However, in functional studies, neither compound has consistently been able to block estradiol-induced transcription. In this report, three yeast genetic systems were used to investigate the effects of tamoxifen and ICI 182,780 on ER dimerization, transcriptional activation, and the interaction of the receptor with a coactivator, RIP140. Tamoxifen and ICI 182,780 were able to induce ER dimerization and ER-dependent transcription, albeit at up to 15,000-fold higher concentrations than that of estradiol. In the presence of RIP140, the transcription response maximum was increased up to 30-fold for estradiol and both antiestrogens. Whole yeast cell [(3)H]estradiol binding studies demonstrated that tamoxifen could displace the estradiol from the ER, whereas ICI 182,780 treatment resulted in a 4-fold increase in [(3)H]estradiol binding to the receptor. No antagonism of estradiol was observed with tamoxifen or ICI 182,780 in any of the yeast models employed. We have concluded that the antiestrogen activity of compounds like tamoxifen and ICI 182,780 is not caused by their ability to competitively antagonize estradiol binding to the hormone binding site, but possibly by their ability to induce ER-dependent transcription, which in mammalian systems would result in receptor down-regulation. Compounds such as tamoxifen act through the hormone binding site, whereas ICI 182,780 may cause receptor activation through an allosteric binding site.
This article was published in Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
and referenced in Journal of Steroids & Hormonal Science