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Int J Med Sci. 2018 Aug 10;15(12):1320-1328. doi: 10.7150/ijms.26774. eCollection 2018.

Estrogen Receptor 1 (ESR1) Enhances Slc2a4/GLUT4 Expression by a SP1 Cooperative Mechanism.

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Departament of Physiology and Biophysics, Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brasil.


Background: Estrogens are involved in glycemic regulation, playing an important role in the development and/or progression of insulin resistance. For that, estrogens regulate the expression of the glucose transporter protein GLUT4 (codified by the solute carrier family 2 member 4 gene, Slc2a4), thus modulating adipose and muscle glucose disposal. This regulation is a balance between ESR1-mediated enhancer effect and ESR2-mediated repressor effect on Slc2a4 gene. However, molecular mechanisms involved in these effects are poorly understood. Since the specificity protein 1 (SP1) participates in several ESR-mediated genomic regulations, the aim of the present study is to investigate the participation of SP1 in the ESR1/2-mediated regulation of Slc2a4 gene. Methods: Differentiated 3T3-L1 adipocytes were 24-hour challenged with 10 nM estradiol (E2) and 10 nM ESR1 agonist (PPT) or 100 nM ESR2 agonist (DPN), added or not with E2. Slc2a4 and Sp1 mRNAs (RT-qPCR), total GLUT4 and nuclear ESR1, ESR2 and SP1 proteins (Western blotting), SP1 binding activity into Slc2a4 promoter (EMSA), and nuclear complexation of SP1/ESR1 (immunoprecipitation) were analyzed. Results: E2 and PPT increased (25-50%) whereas DPN reduced (20-45%) Slc2a4 and GLUT4 expression. Nuclear content of ESR1 and ESR2 remained unchanged. Nuclear content of SP1 increased (50 to 90%) by PPT and DPN added or not with E2; the highest effect observed with PPT alone. PPT also increased the nuclear content of SP1/ESR1 complex and the SP1 binding into the Slc2a4 promoter. Conclusions: ESR1 activation in adipocytes increased the nuclear content of SP1 protein, the SP1/ESR1 interaction and SP1 binding into the Slc2a4 gene promoter, culminating with increased Slc2a4/GLUT4 expression. No involvement of SP1 seems to occur in ESR2-mediated repressor effect on Slc2a4. We expect that this ESR1/SP1 cooperative effect can contribute to the development of new approaches for prevention or treatment of insulin resistance and diabetes mellitus.


3T3-L1 adipocytes; DPN; ESR2; Estradiol; PPT

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