Special Viewpoints

Connections and Regulation of the Human Estrogen Receptor

Science  31 May 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5573, pp. 1642-1644
DOI: 10.1126/science.1071884

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Abstract

Estrogen regulates a plethora of functionally dissimilar processes in a broad range of tissues. Recent progress in the study of the molecular mechanism of action of estrogen(s) has revealed why different cells can respond to the same hormone in a different manner. Three of these findings are of particular importance: (i) There are two genetically and functionally distinct estrogen receptors that have distinct expression patterns in vivo; (ii) the positive and negative transcriptional activities of these receptors require them to engage transcription cofactors (coactivators or corepressors) in target cells; and (iii) not all cofactors are functionally equivalent, nor are they expressed in the same manner in all cells. Thus, although the estrogen receptor is required for a cell to respond to an estrogenic stimulus, the nature and extent of that response are determined by the proteins, pathways, and processes with which the receptor interacts.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: donald.mcdonnell{at}duke.edu

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