Project description:Estetrol (E4) is a natural estrogen with a long half-life produced only by the human fetal liver during pregnancy. The crystal structures of the estrogen receptor α (ERα) ligand-binding domain bound to 17β-estradiol (E2) and E4 are very similar, as well as their capacity to activate the two activation functions AF-1 and AF-2 and to recruit the coactivator SRC3. In vivo administration of high doses of E4 stimulated uterine gene expression, epithelial proliferation, and prevented atheroma, three recognized nuclear ERα actions. However, E4 failed to promote endothelial NO synthase activation and acceleration of endothelial healing, two processes clearly dependent on membrane-initiated steroid signaling (MISS). Furthermore, E4 antagonized E2 MISS-dependent effects in endothelium but also in MCF-7 breast cancer cell line. This profile of ERα activation by E4, uncoupling nuclear and membrane activation, characterizes E4 as a selective ER modulator which could have medical applications that should now be considered further.
Project description:In addition to activating nuclear estrogen receptor signaling, 17β-estradiol can also regulate neuronal function via surface membrane receptors. In various brain regions, these actions are mediated by the direct association of estrogen receptors (ERs) activating metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs). These ER/mGluR signaling partners are organized into discrete functional microdomains via caveolin proteins. A central question that remains concerns the underlying mechanism by which these subpopulations of ERs are targeted to the surface membrane. One candidate mechanism is S-palmitoylation, a posttranscriptional modification that affects the subcellular distribution and function of the modified protein, including promoting localization to membranes. Here we test for the role of palmitoylation and the necessity of specific palmitoylacyltransferase proteins in neuronal membrane ER action. In hippocampal neurons, pharmacological inhibition of palmitoylation eliminated 17β-estradiol-mediated phosphorylation of cAMP response element-binding protein, a process dependent on surface membrane ERs. In addition, mutation of the palmitoylation site on estrogen receptor (ER) α blocks ERα-mediated cAMP response element-binding protein phosphorylation. Similar results were obtained after mutation of the palmitoylation site on ERβ. Importantly, mutation of either ERα or ERβ did not affect the ability of the reciprocal ER to signal at the membrane. In contrast, membrane ERα and ERβ signaling were both dependent on the expression of the palmitoylacyltransferase proteins DHHC-7 and DHHC-21. Neither mGluR activity nor caveolin or ER expression was affected by knockdown of DHHC-7 and DHHC-21. These data collectively suggest discrete mechanisms that regulate specific isoform or global membrane ER signaling in neurons separate from mGluR activity or nuclear ER function.
Project description:Estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) is a sex hormone nuclear receptor that regulates various physiological events, including the immune response. Although there have been some recent studies on ERα regarding subsets of T cells, such as Th1, Th2, Th17, and Treg cells, its role in follicular helper T (TFH) cells has not yet been elucidated. To determine whether ERα controls TFH response and antibody production, we generated T cell-specific ERα knockout (KO) mice by utilizing the CD4-Cre/ERα flox system (CD4-ERα KO) and then analyzed their phenotype. At approximately 1 year of age, CD4-ERα KO mice spontaneously showed mild autoimmunity with increased autoantibody production and CD4+CD44+CXCR5+Bcl-6+ TFH cells in the mesenteric lymph nodes and spleen. We next immunized 6-8-week-old CD4-ERα KO mice with sheep red blood cells (SRBCs), which resulted in an increased proportion of TFH cells and germinal center (GC) responses. In addition, 17β-estradiol (E2) treatment decreased TFH responses in wild-type mice and suppressed the mRNA expression of Bcl-6 and IL-21. Finally, we confirmed that the production of high-affinity antigen-specific antibodies and isotype class switching induced by NP-conjugated ovalbumin immunization were elevated in CD4-ERα KO mice under sufficient estrogen conditions. These results collectively demonstrate that the female sex hormone receptor ERα inhibits the TFH cell response and GC reaction to control autoantibody production, which was related to estrogen signaling and autoimmunity.
Project description:Antiestrogens (AEs) are widely used for treatment of estrogen receptor alpha (ERα)-positive breast cancer, but display variable degrees of partial agonism in estrogen target tissues and breast cancer (BC) cells. The fact that BC cells resistant to selective ER modulators (SERMs) like tamoxifen (Tam) can still be sensitive to pure AEs, also called selective ER downregulators, suggests different mechanisms of action, some of which may contribute to the more complete suppression of estrogen target genes by pure AEs. We report herein that pure AEs such as fulvestrant induce transient binding of ERα to DNA, followed by rapid release after 30-40 min without loss of nuclear localization. Loss of DNA binding preceded receptor degradation and was not prevented by proteasome inhibition. Chromatin was less accessible in the presence of fulvestrant than with estradiol or Tam as early as 20 min following treatment, suggesting that chromatin remodeling by pure AEs at ERα target regions prevents transcription in spite of receptor binding. SUMO2/3 marks were detected on chromatin at the peak of ERα binding in cells treated with pure AEs, but not SERMs. Furthermore, decreasing SUMOylation by overexpressing the deSUMOylase SENP1 significantly delayed receptor release from DNA and de-repressed expression of estrogen target genes in the presence of fulvestrant, both in ERα-expressing MCF-7 cells and in transiently transfected ER-negative SK-BR-3 cells. Finally, mutation V534E, identified in a breast metastasis resistant to hormonal therapies, prevented ERα modification and resulted in increased transcriptional activity of estrogen target genes in the presence of fulvestrant in SK-BR-3 cells. Together, our results establish a role for SUMOylation in achieving a more complete transcriptional shut-off of estrogen target genes by pure AEs vs. SERMs in BC cells.
Project description:To further study gene expression regulated by 17b-estradiol in uteri, we have employed whole gene microarray profiling to identify genes specifically regulated by the Estrogen receptor ERα localized either at the plasma membrane or in the nucleus. Two mice models have been used, the mice named ERa-AF2° (named AF2_KO and on C57BL6/J background) in which 7 aminoacids have been deleted in the AF2 domain and the mice C451A-ERa (named MISS_KO and on C57BL6/N background) mutated for the C451 into Ala on ERa. Control littermates were used for each mutant mice respectively name AF2_WT or MISS_WT. 17b-estradiol induced gene expression in uteri from ovariectomized mice was measured after 6 hours exposure to 0 (PLB) and 8µg/kg of 17b-estradiol (E2) injected subcutaneously in castor oil.
Project description:Cav1.2 is the pore-forming subunit of L-type voltage-gated calcium channel (LTCC) that plays an important role in calcium overload and cell death in Alzheimer's disease. LTCC activity can be regulated by estrogen, a sex steroid hormone that is neuroprotective. Here, we investigated the potential mechanisms in estrogen-mediated regulation of Cav1.2 protein. We found that in cultured primary neurons, 17β-estradiol (E2) reduced Cav1.2 protein through estrogen receptor α (ERα). This effect was offset by a proteasomal inhibitor MG132, indicating that ubiquitin-proteasome system was involved. Consistently, the ubiquitin (UB) mutant at lysine 29 (K29R) or the K29-deubiquitinating enzyme TRAF-binding protein domain (TRABID) attenuated the effect of ERα on Cav1.2. We further identified that the E3 ligase Mdm2 (double minute 2 protein) and the PEST sequence in Cav1.2 protein played a role, as Mdm2 overexpression and the membrane-permeable PEST peptides prevented ERα-mediated Cav1.2 reduction, and Mdm2 overexpression led to the reduced Cav1.2 protein and the increased colocalization of Cav1.2 with ubiquitin in cortical neurons in vivo. In ovariectomized (OVX) APP/PS1 mice, administration of ERα agonist PPT reduced cerebral Cav1.2 protein, increased Cav1.2 ubiquitination, and improved cognitive performances. Taken together, ERα-induced Cav1.2 degradation involved K29-linked UB chains and the E3 ligase Mdm2, which might play a role in cognitive improvement in OVX APP/PS1 mice.
Project description:Estrogens act in the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus (VMH) to regulate body weight homeostasis. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying these estrogenic effects are unknown. We show that activation of estrogen receptor-α (ERα) stimulates neural firing of VMH neurons expressing ERα, and these effects are blocked with intracellular application of a pharmacological inhibitor of the phosphatidyl inositol 3-kinase (PI3K). Further, we demonstrated that mice with genetic inhibition of PI3K activity in VMH neurons showed a sexual dimorphic obese phenotype, with only female mutants being affected. In addition, inhibition of VMH PI3K activity blocked effects of 17β-estradiol to stimulate energy expenditure, but did not affect estrogen-induced anorexia. Collectively, our results indicate that PI3K activity in VMH neurons plays a physiologically relevant role in mediating estrogenic actions on energy expenditure in females.
Project description:The functional outcome of intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) in young male patients are poor than in premenopausal women. After ICH, ferrous iron accumulation causes a higher level of oxidative injury associated with autophagic cell death in striatum of male mice than in females. In rodent model of ferrous citrate (FC)-infusion that simulates iron accumulation after ICH, female endogenous estradiol (E2) suppresses autophagy via estrogen receptor α (ERα) and contributes to less injury severity. Moreover, E2 implantation diminished the FC-induced autophagic cell death and injury in males, whose ERα in the striatum is less than females. Since, no sex difference of ERβ was observed in striatum, we delineated whether ERα and G-protein-coupled estrogen receptor 1 (GPER1) mediate the suppressions of FC-induced autophagy and oxidative injury by E2 in a sex-dimorphic manner. The results showed that the ratio of constitutive GPER1 to ERα in striatum is higher in males than in females. The GPER1 and ERα predominantly mediated suppressive effects of E2 on FC-induced autophagy in males and antioxidant effect of E2 in females, respectively. This finding opens the prospect of a male-specific therapeutic strategy targeting GPER1 for autophagy suppression in patients suffering from iron overload after hemorrhage.
Project description:Hepatocyte estrogen receptor α (ERα) was recently recognized as a relevant molecular target for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) prevention. The present study defined to what extent hepatocyte ERα could be involved in preserving metabolic homeostasis in response to a full (17β-estradiol [E2]) or selective (selective estrogen receptor modulator [SERM]) activation. Ovariectomized mice harboring a hepatocyte-specific ERα deletion (LERKO mice) and their wild-type (WT) littermates were fed a high-fat diet (HFD) and concomitantly treated with E2, tamoxifen (TAM; the most used SERM), or vehicle. As expected, both E2 and TAM prevented all HFD-induced metabolic disorders in WT mice, and their protective effects against steatosis were abolished in LERKO mice. However, while E2 still prevented obesity and glucose intolerance in LERKO mice, hepatocyte ERα deletion also abrogated TAM-mediated control of food intake as well as its beneficial actions on adiposity, insulin sensitivity, and glucose homeostasis, suggesting a whole-body protective role for liver-derived circulating factors. Moreover, unlike E2, TAM induced a rise in plasma concentration of the anorectic hepatokine growth differentiation factor 15 (Gdf15) through a transcriptional mechanism dependent on hepatocyte ERα activation. Accordingly, ERα was associated with specific binding sites in the Gdf15 regulatory region in hepatocytes from TAM-treated mice but not under E2 treatment due to specific epigenetic modifications. Finally, all the protective effects of TAM were abolished in HFD-fed GDF15-knockout mice. Conclusion: We identified the selective modulation of hepatocyte ERα as a pharmacologic strategy to induce sufficient anorectic hepatokine Gdf15 to prevent experimental obesity, type 2 diabetes, and NAFLD.