Differing Roles Found for Estrogen's Two Receptors

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Science  05 Sep 1997:
Vol. 277, Issue 5331, pp. 1439
DOI: 10.1126/science.277.5331.1439

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Despite many years of study, the hormone estrogen and related compounds still remain mysterious in many ways. New findings reported on page 1508 of this issue showing that the two receptors through which estrogens exert their effects can act quite differently, depending on the particular substance binding to them, may now help explain estrogen's broad spectrum of activity and also some of the paradoxical effects of estrogenlike drugs. The results also suggest that it may be possible to develop "designer estrogens" that have more specific effects than the drugs currently in use.