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Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2012 Jan 2;348(1):331-8. doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2011.09.032. Epub 2011 Sep 22.

Activation of estrogen receptor α by raloxifene through an activating protein-1-dependent tethering mechanism in human cervical epithelial cancer cells: a role for c-Jun N-terminal kinase.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.


Nuclear estrogen receptor α (ERα) regulates target gene expression in response to ligands through two distinct mechanisms: direct binding to DNA and indirect tethering through other DNA-bound transcription factors, such as AP-1. In the studies described herein, we examined the molecular mechanisms underlying the activation of ERα in the AP-1 tethering pathway by the selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM) raloxifene (Ral). Our results with the MMP1 and PRUNE genes indicate that the c-Fos component of the AP-1 tethering factor and the c-Jun N-terminal kinase 1 (JNK1) are constitutively bound at the promoter regions prior to Ral exposure. Ral then promotes the binding of ERα at the promoter in a c-Fos-dependent manner. Interestingly, we found that JNK1 enzymatic activity is required for Ral-dependent gene activation through ERα. Our results suggest that one role for Ral-dependent recruitment of ERα to the AP-1 binding site is to stimulate JNK1 enzymatic activity. Alternatively, Ral-occupied ERα might recruit protein substrates to promoter-bound JNK1 without any change in JNK1 activity. Collectively, our studies have revealed a new role for JNK1 in determining gene regulatory outcomes by ERα.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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