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Science. 1995 Dec 1;270(5241):1491-4.

Activation of the estrogen receptor through phosphorylation by mitogen-activated protein kinase.

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  • 1Department of Agricultural Chemistry, Tokyo University of Agriculture, Japan.


The phosphorylation of the human estrogen receptor (ER) serine residue at position 118 is required for full activity of the ER activation function 1 (AF-1). This Ser118 is phosphorylated by mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) in vitro and in cells treated with epidermal growth factor (EGF) and insulin-like growth factor (IGF) in vivo. Overexpression of MAPK kinase (MAPKK) or of the guanine nucleotide binding protein Ras, both of which activate MAPK, enhanced estrogen-induced and antiestrogen (tamoxifen)-induced transcriptional activity of wild-type ER, but not that of a mutant ER with an alanine in place of Ser118. Thus, the activity of the amino-terminal AF-1 of the ER is modulated by the phosphorylation of Ser118 through the Ras-MAPK cascade of the growth factor signaling pathways.

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