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Cell. 1989 May 5;57(3):433-42.

Steroid hormone receptors compete for factors that mediate their enhancer function.

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Laboratoire de Génétique Moléculaire des Eucaryotes du CNRS, Strasbourg, France.


Stimulation of transcription of reporter genes by the progesterone receptor (PR) was inhibited in transfected HeLa cells by co-expressing the estrogen receptor (ER) in an ER-dose- and estrogen-dependent manner. Both the N-terminal A/B region and the hormone binding domain of ER were involved in this inhibition, which was antagonized by antiestrogens and did not appear to involve direct interaction between ER and either reporter gene or PR. ER expression also inhibited activation by the glucocorticoid receptor (GR), and both PR and GR expression inhibited activation by ER, albeit to a lower extent. Similar transcriptional interference was observed between the endogenous PR and ER present in T47D and MCF-7 breast cancer cells transfected with an ER reporter gene. Moreover, transcription of the resident estrogen-induced pS2 gene was partially inhibited by exposing MCF-7 cells to progestins or glucocorticoids. We propose that these observations reflect competition for a functionally limiting transcription factor(s).

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