Estrogen receptor signaling during vertebrate development

Maria Bondesson, Ruixin Hao, Chin Yo Lin, Cecilia Williams, Jan Åke Gustafsson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations

Abstract

Estrogen receptors are expressed and their cognate ligands produced in all vertebrates, indicative of important and conserved functions. Through evolution estrogen has been involved in controlling reproduction, affecting both the development of reproductive organs and reproductive behavior. This review broadly describes the synthesis of estrogens and the expression patterns of aromatase and the estrogen receptors, in relation to estrogen functions in the developing fetus and child. We focus on the role of estrogens for the development of reproductive tissues, as well as non-reproductive effects on the developing brain. We collate data from human, rodent, bird and fish studies and highlight common and species-specific effects of estrogen signaling on fetal development. Morphological malformations originating from perturbed estrogen signaling in estrogen receptor and aromatase knockout mice are discussed, as well as the clinical manifestations of rare estrogen receptor alpha and aromatase gene mutations in humans. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Nuclear receptors in animal development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)142-151
Number of pages10
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Gene Regulatory Mechanisms
Volume1849
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015

Keywords

  • Aromatase
  • Estrogen
  • Estrogen receptor
  • Reproductive development
  • Sex differentiation
  • Vertebrate development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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