Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Cell Biochem. 2001;82(3):467-79.

Subcellular distribution of native estrogen receptor alpha and beta isoforms in rabbit uterus and ovary.

Author information

  • 1Departamento de Biología, Bioquímica y Farmacia, Universidad Nacional del Sur, Bahía Blanca, Argentina.


The association of estrogen receptors with non-nuclear/cytoplasmic compartments in target tissues has been documented. However, limited information is available on the distribution of estrogen receptor isoforms, specially with regard to the newly described beta isotype. The subcellular localization of estrogen receptor alpha and beta isoforms was investigated in rabbit uterus and ovary. Native alpha and beta subtypes were immunodetected using specific antibodies after subjecting the tissue to fractionation by differential centrifugation. The ovary expressed alpha and beta estrogen receptors in predominant association to cytosolic components. However, in the uterus, a substantial proportion of the total estrogen binding capacity and coexpression of the two isoforms was detected in mitochondria and microsomes. The mitochondrial-enriched subfraction represented an important source of 17beta-estradiol binding, where the steroid was recognized in a stereospecific and high affinity manner. The existence of mitochondrial and membrane estrogen binding sites correlated with the presence of estrogen receptor alpha but mainly with estrogen receptor beta proteins. Using macromolecular 17beta-estradiol derivatives in Ligand Blot studies, we could confirm that both alpha and beta isoforms were expressed as the major estrogen binding proteins in the uterus, while estrogen receptor alpha was clearly the dominant isoform in the ovary. Other low molecular weight estrogen receptor alpha-like proteins were found to represent an independent subpopulation of uterine binding sites, expressed to a lesser extent. This differential cellular partitioning of estrogen receptor alpha and beta forms may contribute to the known diversity of 17beta-estradiol effects in target organs. Both estrogen receptor alpha and beta expression levels and cellular localization patterns among tissues, add complexity to the whole estrogen signaling system, in which membrane and mitochondrial events could also be implicated.

Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk