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Mol Cell Biol. 2003 Mar;23(6):1994-2008.

Two domains of the progesterone receptor interact with the estrogen receptor and are required for progesterone activation of the c-Src/Erk pathway in mammalian cells.

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  • 1Institut für Molekularbiologie und Tumorforschung, Philipps-Universität, D-35033 Marburg, Germany.


In breast cancer cells, estrogens activate the Src/Erk pathway through an interaction of the estrogen receptor alpha (ERalpha) with the SH2 domain of c-Src. Progestins have been reported to activate also this pathway either via an interaction of the progesterone receptor isoform B (PRB) with ERalpha, which itself activates c-Src, or by direct interaction of PRB with the SH3 domain of c-Src. Here we identify two domains of PRB, ERID-I and -II, mediating a direct interaction with the ligand-binding domain of ERalpha. ERID-I and ERID-II flank a proline cluster responsible for binding of PRB to c-Src. In mammalian cells, the interaction of PRB with ERalpha and the progestin activation of the Src/Erk cascade are abolished by deletion of either ERID-I or ERID-II. These regions are not required for transactivation of a progesterone-responsive reporter gene. Mutations in the proline cluster of PRB that prevent a direct interaction with c-Src do not affect the strong activation of c-Src by progestins in the presence of ERalpha. Thus, in cells with ERalpha, ERID-I and ERID-II are necessary and sufficient for progestin activation of the endogenous Src/Erk pathway.

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