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Anal Biochem. 2006 Oct 1;357(1):105-15. Epub 2006 Jul 10.

Development of a coactivator displacement assay for the orphan receptor estrogen-related receptor-gamma using time-resolved fluorescence resonance energy transfer.

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Invitrogen Corporation, Drug Discovery Solutions, Madison, WI 53719, USA.


The estrogen-related receptor-gamma (ERRgamma) is a constitutively active orphan receptor that belongs to the nuclear receptor superfamily and is most closely related to the estrogen receptors. Although its physiological ligand is unknown, ERRgamma has been shown to interact with synthetic estrogenic compounds such as 4-hydroxytamoxifen (4-OHT), tamoxifen, and diethylstilbestrol (DES). To assess how coregulator proteins interact with ERRgamma in response to ligand, an in vitro interaction methodology using time-resolved fluorescence resonance energy transfer (TR-FRET) was developed using glutathione S-transferase (GST)-tagged ERRgamma ligand-binding domain (LBD), a terbium-labeled anti-GST antibody, a fluorescein-labeled peptide containing sequences derived from coregulator proteins, and various ligands. An initial screen of these coregulator peptides bearing the coactivator LXXLL motif, the corepressor LXXI/HIXXXI/L motif, or other interaction motifs from natural coactivator sequences or random phage display peptides indicated that the peptides PGC1alpha, D22, and SRC1-4, known as class III coregulators, interacted most strongly with ERRgamma in the absence of ligand. Given its assay window and biological relevance in energy metabolism and obesity, further studies were conducted with PGC1alpha. Fluorescein-labeled PGC1alpha peptide was displaced from the ERRgamma LBD in the presence of increasing concentrations of 4-OHT and tamoxifen, but DES was less effective in PGC1alpha displacement. The statistical parameter Z' factor that measures the robustness of the assay was greater than 0.8 for displacement of PGC1alpha from ERRgamma LBD in the presence of saturating 4-OHT over an assay incubation time of 1-6 h, indicating an excellent assay. These findings also suggest that binding of 4-OHT, tamoxifen, or DES to ERRgamma results in differential affinity of coregulators for ERRgamma due to unique ligand-induced conformations.

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