Author(s): Sumi D, Ignarro LJ
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Abstract The human estrogen-related receptor alpha1 (ERR alpha 1) is a member of an orphan receptor family closely related to the estrogen receptor. It has been demonstrated that estrogen modulates endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) expression through the estrogen receptor in endothelial cells. However, little is known about the relationship between ERR alpha 1 and eNOS. In this study, we show that ERR alpha 1 activates the estrogen response element (ERE) and eNOS promoter-dependent luciferase activity in COS-7 cells and bovine pulmonary artery endothelial cells. The endogenous ligand for ERR alpha 1 has not been identified, but we show that these actions are dependent on serum constituents because ERR alpha 1 fails to stimulate eNOS promoter-dependent luciferase activity in charcoal-treated serum. Furthermore, through the use of truncated eNOS promoter luciferase constructs, we demonstrate that the activation of eNOS transcription by ERR alpha 1 is mediated via three regions: base pairs -1001 to -743, base pairs -743 to -265, and downstream from base pair -265 on the eNOS promoter. In addition, ERR alpha 1 up-regulates eNOS mRNA and protein expression and stimulates eNOS activity in bovine pulmonary artery endothelial cells. These results suggest that ERR alpha 1 has a potential role in the regulation of eNOS expression and may stimulate NO production by endothelial cells, which may in turn result in a protective effect against atherosclerosis.
This article was published in Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
and referenced in Translational Medicine