Mouse estrogen receptor β forms estrogen response element-binding heterodimers with estrogen receptor α

Katarina Pettersson, Kaj Grandien, George G.J.M. Kuiper, Jan Åke Gustafsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

540 Scopus citations

Abstract

The recent discovery that an additional estrogen receptor subtype is present in various rat tissues has advanced our understanding of the mechanisms underlying estrogen signaling. Here we report on the cloning of the cDNA encoding the mouse homolog of estrogen receptor-β (ERβ) and the functional characterization of mouse ERβ protein. ERβ is shown to have overlapping DNA-binding specificity with that of the estrogen receptor-α (ERα) and activates transcription of reporter gene constructs containing estrogen-response elements in transient transfections in response to estradiol. Using a mammalian two-hybrid system, the formation of heterodimers of the ERβ and ERα subtypes was demonstrated. Furthermore, ERβ and ERα form heterodimeric complexes with retained DNA-binding ability and specificity in vitro. In addition, DNA binding by the ERβ/ERα heterodimer appears to be dependent on both subtype proteins. Taken together these results suggest the existence of two previously unrecognized pathways of estrogen signaling; I, via ERβ in cells exclusively expressing this subtype, and II, via the formation of heterodimers in cells expressing both receptor subtypes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1486-1496
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Endocrinology
Volume11
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology

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