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Mech Dev. 1996 Feb;54(2):211-23.

Expression of a novel member of estrogen response element-binding nuclear receptors is restricted to the early stages of chorion formation during mouse embryogenesis.

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Karolinska Institute, Department of Medical Nutrition, F60 NOVUM, Huddinge, Sweden.


Members of the nuclear hormone receptor gene family of transcription factors have been shown to be expressed in characteristic patterns during mouse organogenesis and postnatal development. Using an RT-PCR based screening assay, we have identified nuclear receptors expressed in embryonal carcinoma stem cells. One of the cDNAs characterized, mERR-2, was found to be expressed exclusively during a narrow developmental window in trophoblast progenitor cells between days 6.5 and 7.5 post coitum (p.c.). From 8.5 days p.c. and onwards, the mERR-2 gene activity evaded detection as analysed by in situ hybridization. We also show that the mERR-2 gene product and the estrogen receptor share a common target DNA-sequence recognition specificity unique among members of the gene family. Furthermore, efficient homodimerization and DNA-binding of the orphan receptor mERR-2 was found to be dependent on interaction with the heat shock protein 90, a molecular chaperone hitherto recognized to interact only with the steroid hormone receptor subgroup of nuclear receptors. Based on our results we suggest that the mouse orphan receptor mERR-2 has the potential to regulate overlapping gene networks with the estrogen receptor and may participate in signal transduction pathways during a short developmental period coinciding with the formation of the chorion.

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