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Nucleic Acids Res. 2001 Jul 15;29(14):2905-19.

Estrogen receptor interaction with estrogen response elements.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, KY 40292, USA.


The estrogen receptor (ER) is a ligand-activated enhancer protein that is a member of the steroid/nuclear receptor superfamily. Two genes encode mammalian ER: ERalpha and ERbeta. ER binds to specific DNA sequences called estrogen response elements (EREs) with high affinity and transactivates gene expression in response to estradiol (E(2)). The purpose of this review is to summarize how natural and synthetic variations in the ERE sequence impact the affinity of ER-ERE binding and E(2)-induced transcriptional activity. Surprisingly, although the consensus ERE sequence was delineated in 1989, there are only seven natural EREs for which both ERalpha binding affinity and transcriptional activation have been examined. Even less information is available regarding how variations in ERE sequence impact ERbeta binding and transcriptional activity. Review of data from our own laboratory and those in the literature indicate that ERalpha binding affinity does not relate linearly with E(2)-induced transcriptional activation. We suggest that the reasons for this discord include cellular amounts of coactivators and adaptor proteins that play roles both in ER binding and transcriptional activation; phosphorylation of ER and other proteins involved in transcriptional activation; and sequence-specific and protein-induced alterations in chromatin architecture.

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