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J Endocrinol. 2012 Jul;214(1):45-54. doi: 10.1530/JOE-12-0097. Epub 2012 May 4.

Gαo potentiates estrogen receptor α activity via the ERK signaling pathway.

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  • 1Section of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Department of Medicine, Tulane University, 1430 Tulane Avenue, SL-78, New Orleans, Louisiana 70112, USA.


The estrogen receptor α (ERα) is a transcription factor that mediates the biological effects of 17β-estradiol (E(2)). ERα transcriptional activity is also regulated by cytoplasmic signaling cascades. Here, several Gα protein subunits were tested for their ability to regulate ERα activity. Reporter assays revealed that overexpression of a constitutively active Gα(o) protein subunit potentiated ERα activity in the absence and presence of E(2). Transient transfection of the human breast cancer cell line MCF-7 showed that Gα(o) augments the transcription of several ERα-regulated genes. Western blots of HEK293T cells transfected with ER±Gα(o) revealed that Gα(o) stimulated phosphorylation of ERK 1/2 and subsequently increased the phosphorylation of ERα on serine 118. In summary, our results show that Gα(o), through activation of the MAPK pathway, plays a role in the regulation of ERα activity.

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