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J Biol Chem. 1996 Mar 8;271(10):5795-804.

Estrogen-related receptor, hERR1, modulates estrogen receptor-mediated response of human lactoferrin gene promoter.

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  • 1Gene Regulation Group, Laboratory of Reproductive and Developmental Toxicology, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709, USA.


We have shown previously that estrogen-stimulated transcription from the human lactoferrin gene in RL95-2 endometrium carcinoma cells is mediated through an imperfect estrogen response element (ERE) at the 5 -flanking region of the gene. Upstream from the ERE, a DNA sequence (-418 to -378, FP1) was selectively protected from DNase I digestion by nuclear extracts from endometrial and mammary gland cell lines. In this report, using the electrophoresis mobility shift assay, site-directed mutagenesis, and DNA methylation interference analyses, we show that three different nuclear proteins bind to the FP1 region (C1, C2, and C3 sites). The nuclear receptor, COUP-TF, binds to the C2 site. Mutations in the C1 binding region abolish C1 complex formation and reduce estrogen-dependent transcription from the lactoferrin ERE. When the imperfect ERE of the lactoferrin gene is converted to a perfect palindromic structure, the enhancing effect of the C1 binding element for estrogen responsiveness was abolished. We isolated a complementary DNA (cDNA) clone from an RL95-2 expression library that encodes the C1 site-binding protein. The encoded polypeptide maintains 99% amino acid identity with the previously described orphan nuclear receptor hERR1. A 2.2-kilobase mRNA was detected in RL95-2 cells by the newly isolated cDNA but not by the first 180 base pair of the published hERR1 sequence. By Western analysis, a major 42-kDa protein is detected in the RL95-2 nuclear extract with antibody generated against GST-hERR1 fusion protein. Finally, we show that the hERR1 interacts with the human estrogen receptor through protein-protein contacts.

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