Author(s): McInerney EM, Weis KE, Sun J, Mosselman S, Katzenellenbogen BS
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Abstract We have studied the two estrogen receptor (ER) subtypes, ER alpha and ER beta, and chimeric constructs with ER alpha and ER beta to examine the bioactivities of these receptors and their responses to estrogen and antiestrogen ligands. Transcriptional activity of ER beta is highly dependent on cell/promoter context and on the nature of the ligand. ER beta activated significant levels of transcription in response to estrogens in certain cell types, but showed only moderate activity compared with ER alpha in others. Antiestrogens such as tamoxifen and 2-phenylbenzofuran, which show some agonistic activity with ER alpha, exhibit no agonistic activity with ER beta. Alteration of the amino-terminal A/B receptor domain can result in a dramatic change in cell type- and ligand-specific transcriptional activity of ER beta. Upon replacing the A/B domain of ER beta with the A/B domain of ER alpha, this receptor chimera not only exhibits an improved transcriptional response to estrogens, but also is now able to activate transcription upon treatment with these antiestrogens. As antiestrogen agonism was lacking in ER beta and the ER beta/alpha chimera containing the amino-terminal A/B domain of ER beta fused to domains C through F of ER alpha, but was restored in an ER alpha/beta chimera containing the A/B domain of ER alpha, antiestrogen agonism was shown to depend on the A/B domain (activation function-1-containing region) of ER alpha. Together, these results indicate that the differences in the amino-terminal regions of ER alpha and ER beta contribute to the cell- and promoter-specific differences in transcriptional activity of these receptors, and their ability to respond to different ligands, thus providing a mechanism for differentially regulated transcription by these two ERs.
This article was published in Endocrinology
and referenced in Journal of Steroids & Hormonal Science