Send to

Choose Destination
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1997 Jun 18;235(2):336-42.

Synergistic responses of steroidal estrogens in vitro (yeast) and in vivo (turtles).

Author information

Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Tulane School of Public Health, New Orleans, Louisiana 70112, USA.


Many environmental agents exert estrogenic activity. Previous studies from our laboratories demonstrated that certain combinations of environmental estrogens (i) reverse the sex of male turtle embryos in a synergistic manner (Bergeron et al., (1994) Environ. Hlth Perspect. 102, 780-782), and (ii) synergistically transactivate the human estrogen receptor (hER) in yeast and mammalian cells (Arnold et al., (1996) Science 272, 1489-1492). Because our findings with synthetic estrogens suggested that combinations of naturally-occurring steroidal estrogens might also produce synergistic activity of the ER, we used the same model systems to measure the activity of combinations of steroidal estrogens. The activity of combinations of estrone, estradiol-17beta or estradiol-17alpha in yeast strains expressing hER was synergistic at submaximal concentrations of both estrogenic compounds. However, synergy was not observed with mixtures of estrogens when the concentration of one of the estrogens alone was maximally active in yeast. Ligand-binding assays in yeast performed with various radiolabeled estrogens suggested that multiple estrogens may interact with the receptor. The estrogen-dependent process of sex-reversal of turtle embryos incubated at a male-producing temperature was used to determine whether steroidal estrogens also had synergistic activity in vivo. In this instance, a combination of estriol and estradiol-17beta was effective in reversing the gonadal sex of turtle embryos from males to females in a synergistic manner. Our results suggest that the synergy of some combinations of estrogens, synthetic or steroidal, may play a role in the estrogen-dependent process of sexual development in certain species.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center