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Mol Endocrinol. 2002 May;16(5):947-60.

Calmodulin is a selective modulator of estrogen receptors.

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Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular and Instituto Universitario de Oncología Principado de Asturias, Universidad de Oviedo, 33007 Oviedo, Spain.


In the search for differences between ERalpha and ERbeta, we analyzed the interaction of both receptors with calmodulin (CaM) and demonstrated that ERalpha but not ERbeta directly interacts with CaM. Using transiently transfected HeLa cells, we examined the effect of the CaM antagonist N-(6-aminohexyl)-5-chloro-naphthalene sulfonilamide hydrochloride (W7) on the transactivation properties of ERalpha and ERbeta in promoters containing either estrogen response elements or activator protein 1 elements. Transactivation by ERalpha was dose-dependently inhibited by W7, whereas that of ERbeta was not inhibited or even activated at low W7 concentrations. In agreement with these results, transactivation of an estrogen response element containing promoter in MCF-7 cells (which express a high ERalpha/ERbeta ratio) was also inhibited by W7. In contrast, transactivation in T47D cells (which express a low ERalpha/ERbeta ratio) was not affected by this CaM antagonist. The sensitivity of MCF-7 cells to W7 was abolished when cells were transfected with increasing amounts of ERbeta, indicating that the sensitivity to CaM antagonists of estrogen-responsive tissues correlates with a high ERalpha/ERbeta ratio. Finally, substitution of lysine residues 302 and 303 of ERalpha for glycine rendered a mutant ERalpha unable to interact with CaM whose transactivation activity became insensitive to W7. Our results indicate that CaM antagonists are selective modulators of ER able to inhibit ERalpha-mediated activity, whereas ERbeta actions were not affected or even potentiated by W7.

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