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Oncogene. 1998 Nov 12;17(19):2429-35.

Activation of the thyroid hormone receptor alpha gene promoter by the orphan nuclear receptor ERR alpha.

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CNRS UMR 49, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, 46 allée d'Italie, France.


The superfamily of nuclear receptors comprises transcription factors that depend on a ligand for their activity. In addition, the superfamily includes a number of orphan receptors, for which no ligand is known. We report here that the orphan receptor estrogen receptor related alpha receptor (ERR alpha) stimulates the expression of the thyroid hormone receptor alpha (TR alpha) gene promoter. We characterized a responsive site that is both necessary and sufficient for ERR alpha-induced transactivation. In addition, we show that both TR alpha and ERR alpha are coexpressed in embryonic intestine, brown fat and heart as well as in the adult gonads. In the testis, expression of both receptors can be found in the seminiferous tubes where it is totally restricted to spermatocytes I. Altogether this suggests that TR alpha is an in vivo target of ERR alpha.

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