Estrogen receptors alpha (ER?) and beta (ER?): subtype-selective ligands and clinical potential.
ABSTRACT: Estrogen receptors alpha (ER?) and beta (ER?) are nuclear transcription factors that are involved in the regulation of many complex physiological processes in humans. Modulation of these receptors by prospective therapeutic agents is currently being considered for prevention and treatment of a wide variety of pathological conditions, such as, cancer, metabolic and cardiovascular diseases, neurodegeneration, inflammation, and osteoporosis. This review provides an overview and update of compounds that have been recently reported as modulators of ERs, with a particular focus on their potential clinical applications.
Project description:The estrogen receptors (ERs) are a group of versatile receptors. They regulate an enormity of processes starting in early life and continuing through sexual reproduction, development, and end of life. This review provides a background and structural perspective for the ERs as part of the nuclear receptor superfamily and discusses the ER versatility and promiscuity. The wide repertoire of ER actions is mediated mostly through ligand-activated transcription factors and many DNA response elements in most tissues and organs. Their versatility, however, comes with the drawback of promiscuous interactions with structurally diverse exogenous chemicals with potential for a wide range of adverse health outcomes. Even when interacting with endogenous hormones, ER actions can have adverse effects in disease progression. Finally, how nature controls ER specificity and how the subtle differences in receptor subtypes are exploited in pharmaceutical design to achieve binding specificity and subtype selectivity for desired biological response are discussed. The intent of this review is to complement the large body of literature with emphasis on most recent developments in selective ER ligands.
Project description:Estrogens, acting through the estrogen receptors (ERs), play crucial roles in regulating the function of reproductive and other systems under physiological and pathological conditions. ER activity in regulating target genes is modulated by the binding of both steroidal and synthetic nonsteroidal ligands, with ligand binding inducing ERs to adopt various conformations that control their interactions with transcriptional coregulators. Previously, we developed an intramolecular folding sensor with a mutant form of ERalpha (ER(G521T)) that proved to be essentially unresponsive to the endogenous ligand 17beta-estradiol, yet responded very well to certain synthetic ligands. In this study, we have characterized this G521T-ER mutation in terms of the potency and efficacy of receptor response toward several steroidal and nonsteroidal ligands in two different ways: directly, by ligand effects on mutant ER conformation (by the split-luciferase complementation system), and indirectly, by ligand effects on mutant ER transactivation. Full-length G521T-ER shows no affinity for estradiol and does not activate an estrogen-responsive reporter gene. The synthetic pyrazole agonist ligand propyl-pyrazole-triol is approximately 100-fold more potent than estradiol in inducing intramolecular folding and reporter gene transactivation with the mutant ER, whereas both ligands have high potency on wild-type ER. This estradiol-unresponsive mutant ER can also specifically highlight the agonistic property of the selective ER modulator, 4-hydroxytamoxifen, by reporter gene transactivation, even in the presence of estradiol, and it can exert a dominant-negative effect on estrogen-stimulated wild-type ER. This system provides a model for ER-mutants that show differential ligand responsiveness to gene activation to gain insight into the phenomenon of hormone resistance observed in endocrine therapies of ER-positive breast cancers.
Project description:The consistent reports of mutations at Asp538 and Tyr537 in helix 12 of the ligand-binding domain (LBD) of estrogen receptors (ERs) from antihormone-resistant breast cancer metastases constitute an important advance. The mutant amino acids interact with an anchor amino acid, Asp351, to close the LBD, thereby creating a ligand-free constitutively activated ER. Amino acids Asp 538, Tyr 537, and Asp 351 are known to play a role in either the turnover of ER, the antiestrogenic activity of the ER complex, or the estrogen-like actions of selective ER modulators. A unifying mechanism of action for these amino acids to enhance ER gene activation and growth response is presented. There is a range of mutations described in metastases vs low to zero in primary disease, so the new knowledge is of clinical relevance, thereby confirming an additional mechanism of acquired resistance to antihormone therapy through cell population selection pressure and enrichment during treatment. Circulating tumor cells containing ER mutations can be cultured ex vivo, and tumor tissues can be grown as patient-derived xenografts to add a new dimension for testing drug susceptibility for future drug discovery.
Project description:Many endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) adversely impact estrogen signaling by interacting with two estrogen receptors (ERs): ER? and ER?. Though the receptors have similar ligand binding and DNA binding domains, ER? and ER? have some unique properties in terms of ligand selectivity and target gene regulation. EDCs that target ER signaling can modify genomic and nongenomic ER activity through direct interactions with ERs, indirectly through transcription factors such as the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), or through modulation of metabolic enzymes that are critical for normal estrogen synthesis and metabolism. Many EDCs act through multiple mechanisms as exemplified by chemicals that bind both AhR and ER, such as 3-methylcholanthrene. Other EDCs that target ER signaling include phytoestrogens, bisphenolics, and organochlorine pesticides, and many alter normal ER signaling through multiple mechanisms. EDCs can also display tissue-selective ER agonist and antagonist activities similar to selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) designed for pharmaceutical use. Thus, biological effects of EDCs need to be carefully interpreted because EDCs can act through complex tissue-selective modulation of ERs and other signaling pathways in vivo. Current requirements by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency require some in vitro and cell-based assays to identify EDCs that target ER signaling through direct and metabolic mechanisms. Additional assays may be useful screens for identifying EDCs that act through alternative mechanisms prior to further in vivo study.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Individuals are exposed daily to environmental pollutants that may act as endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), causing a range of developmental, reproductive, metabolic, or neoplastic diseases. With their mostly hydrophobic pocket that serves as a docking site for endogenous and exogenous ligands, nuclear receptors (NRs) can be primary targets of small molecule environmental contaminants. However, most of these compounds are chemically unrelated to natural hormones, so their binding modes and associated hormonal activities are hardly predictable. OBJECTIVES: We conducted a correlative analysis of structural and functional data to gain insight into the mechanisms by which 12 members of representative families of pollutants bind to and activate the estrogen receptors ER? and ER?. METHODS: We used a battery of biochemical, structural, biophysical, and cell-based approaches to characterize the interaction between ERs and their environmental ligands. RESULTS: Our study revealed that the chemically diverse compounds bound to ERs via varied sets of protein-ligand interactions, reflecting their differential activities, binding affinities, and specificities. We observed xenoestrogens binding to both ERs-with affinities ranging from subnanomolar to micromolar values-and acting in a subtype-dependent fashion as full agonists or partial agonists/antagonists by using different combinations of the activation functions 1 and 2 of ER? and ER?. CONCLUSIONS: The precise characterization of the interactions between major environmental pollutants and two of their primary biological targets provides rational guidelines for the design of safer chemicals, and will increase the accuracy and usefulness of structure-based computational methods, allowing for activity prediction of chemicals in risk assessment.
Project description:17?-Estradiol (E(2)) plays important roles in functions of many tissues. E(2) effects are mediated by estrogen receptor (ER) ? and ?. ERs regulate transcriptions through estrogen-responsive element (ERE)-dependent and ERE-independent modes of action. ER binding to ERE constitutes the basis of the ERE-dependent pathway. Direct/indirect ER interactions with transcription complexes define ERE-independent signaling. ERs share functional features. Ligand-bound ERs nevertheless induce distinct transcription profiles. Live cell imaging indicates a dynamic nature of gene expressions by highly mobile ERs. However, the relative contribution of ER mobility at the ERE-independent pathway to the overall kinetics of ER mobility remains undefined. We used fluorescent recovery after a photo-bleaching approach to assess the ligand-mediated mobilities of ERE binding-defective ERs, ER(EBD). The decrease in ER? mobility with E(2) or the selective ER modulator 4-hydroxyl-tamoxifen (4HT) was largely due to the interaction of the receptor with ERE. Thus, ER? bound to E(2) or 4HT mediates transcriptions from the ERE-independent pathway with remarkably fast kinetics that contributes fractionally to the overall motility of the receptor. The antagonist Imperial Chemical Industries 182?780 immobilized ER?s. The mobilities of ER? and ER?(EBD) in the presence of ligands were indistinguishable kinetically. Thus, ER? mobility is independent of the nature of ligands and the mode of interaction with target sites. Chimeric ERs indicated that the carboxyl-termini are critical regions for subtype-specific mobility. Therefore, while ERs are highly mobile molecules interacting with target sites with fast kinetics, an indication of the hit-and-run model of transcription, they differ mechanistically to modulate transcriptions.
Project description:The estrogen receptors (ERs) ER? and ER? mediate the actions of endogenous estrogens as well as those of botanical estrogens (BEs) present in plants. BEs are ingested in the diet and also widely consumed by postmenopausal women as dietary supplements, often as a substitute for the loss of endogenous estrogens at menopause. However, their activities and efficacies, and similarities and differences in gene expression programs with respect to endogenous estrogens such as estradiol (E2) are not fully understood. Because gene expression patterns underlie and control the broad physiological effects of estrogens, we have investigated and compared the gene networks that are regulated by different BEs and by E2. Our aim was to determine if the soy and licorice BEs control similar or different gene expression programs and to compare their gene regulations with that of E2. Gene expression was examined by RNA-Seq in human breast cancer (MCF7) cells treated with control vehicle, BE or E2. These cells contained three different complements of ERs, ER? only, ER?+ER?, or ER? only, reflecting the different ratios of these two receptors in different human breast cancers and in different estrogen target cells. Using principal component, hierarchical clustering, and gene ontology and interactome analyses, we found that BEs regulated many of the same genes as did E2. The genes regulated by each BE, however, were somewhat different from one another, with some genes being regulated uniquely by each compound. The overlap with E2 in regulated genes was greatest for the soy isoflavones genistein and S-equol, while the greatest difference from E2 in gene expression pattern was observed for the licorice root BE liquiritigenin. The gene expression pattern of each ligand depended greatly on the cell background of ERs present. Despite similarities in gene expression pattern with E2, the BEs were generally less stimulatory of genes promoting proliferation and were more pro-apoptotic in their gene regulations than E2. The distinctive patterns of gene regulation by the individual BEs and E2 may underlie differences in the activities of these soy and licorice-derived BEs in estrogen target cells containing different levels of the two ERs.
Project description:A myriad of physiological processes in mammals are influenced by estrogens and the estrogen receptors (ERs), ER? and ER?. As we reviewed previously, given the widespread role for estrogen in normal human physiology, it is not surprising that estrogen is implicated in the development or progression of a number of diseases. In this review, we are giving a 5-year update of the literature regarding the influence of estrogens on a number of human cancers (breast, ovarian, colorectal, prostate, and endometrial), endometriosis, fibroids, and cardiovascular disease. A large number of sophisticated experimental studies have provided insights into human disease, but for this review, the literature citations were limited to articles published after our previous review (Deroo and Korach in J Clin Invest 116(3):561-570, 2006) and will focus in most cases on human data and clinical trials. We will describe the influence in which estrogen's action, through one of or both of the ERs, mediates the aforementioned human disease states.
Project description:The estrogen receptors (ERs) bind with high affinity to many structurally diverse ligands by significantly distorting the contours of their ligand-binding pockets. This raises a question: To what degree is ER able to distinguish between structurally related regioisomers and enantiomers? We have explored the structural compliance and specificity of ER? with a set of ligands having a 7-oxa-bicyclo[2.2.1]hept-5-ene sulfonate core and basic side chains typical of selective ER modulators (SERMs). These ligands have two regioisomers, each of which is a racemate of enantiomers. Using orthogonal protecting groups and chiral HPLC, we isolated all 4 isomers and assigned their absolute stereochemistry by X-ray analysis. The 1S,2R,4S isomer has a 80-170-fold higher affinity for ER? than the others, and it profiles as a partial agonist/antagonist in cellular reporter gene assays and in suppressing proliferation of MCF-7 breast cancer cells with subnanomolar potency, far exceeding that of the other isomers. It is the only isomer found bound to ER? by X-ray analysis after crystallization with four-isomer mixtures of closely related analogs. Thus, despite the general compliance of this receptor for binding a large variety of ligand structures, ER demonstrates marked structural specificity and stereospecificity by selecting a single component from a mixture of structurally related isomers to drive ER-regulated cellular activity. Our findings lay the necessary groundwork for seeking unique ER-mediated pharmacological profiles by rational structural perturbations of two different types of side chains in this unprecedented class of ER ligands, which may prove useful in developing more effective endocrine therapies for breast cancer.
Project description:Estrogen receptors (ERs), including ER? and ER?, mainly mediate the genotype effect of estrogen. ER? is highly expressed in most breast cancers. Endocrine therapy is the most effective and safety adjunctive therapy for ER positive breast cancers. RNPC1, an RNA binding protein (RBP), post-transcriptionally regulating gene expression, is emerging as a critical mechanism for gene regulation in mammalian cells. In this study, we revealed RNPC1's capability of regulating ER? expression. There was a significant correlation between RNPC1 and ER? expression in breast cancer tissues. Ectopic expression of RNPC1 could increase ER? transcript and expression in breast cancer cells, and vice versa. Consistent with this, RNPC1 was able to bind to ER? transcript to increase its stability. Furthermore, overexpression of ER? could decrease the level of RNPC1 transcript and protein. It suggested a novel mechanism by which ER? expression was regulated via stabilizing mRNA. A regulatory feedback loop between RNPC1 and ER? was proved. It indicated that RNPC1 played a crucial role in ER? regulation in ER-positive breast cancers via binding to ER? mRNA. These findings might provide new insights into breast cancer endocrine therapy and ER? research.