Mechanistic differences in the activation of estrogen receptor-alpha (ER alpha)- and ER beta-dependent gene expression by cAMP signaling pathway(s).


Journal Article

Although increases in intracellular cAMP can stimulate estrogen receptor-alpha (ER alpha) activity in the absence of exogenous hormone, no studies have addressed whether ER beta can be similarly regulated. In transient transfections, forskolin plus 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX), which increases intracellular cAMP, stimulated the transcriptional activities of both ER alpha and ER beta. This effect was blocked by the protein kinase A inhibitor H89 (N-(2-(p-bromocinnamylamino)-ethyl)-5-isoquinolinesulfonamide) and was dependent on an estrogen response element. A 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate response element (TRE) located 5' to the estrogen response element was necessary for cAMP-dependent activation of gene expression by ER beta but not ER alpha, indicating that the former subtype requires a functional interaction with TRE-interacting factor(s) to stimulate transcription. Both p160 and CREB-binding protein coactivators stimulated cAMP-induced ER alpha and ER beta transcriptional activity. However, mutation of the two cAMP-inducible SRC-1 phosphorylation sites important for cAMP activation of chicken progesterone receptor or all seven known SRC-1 phosphorylation sites did not specifically impair cAMP activation of ER alpha. The E/F domains of ER alpha are sufficient for activation by forskolin/IBMX, and this is accompanied by an increase in receptor phosphorylation. In contrast, cAMP signaling reduces the phosphorylation of the corresponding region of ER beta, and this correlates with the lack of forskolin/IBMX stimulated transcriptional activity. Our data suggest that cAMP activation of ER alpha transcriptional activity is associated with receptor instead of SRC-1 phosphorylation. Moreover, differences in the cofactor requirements, domains of ER alpha and ER beta sufficient for forskolin/IBMX activation, and the effect of cAMP on receptor phosphorylation indicate that this signaling pathway utilizes distinct mechanisms to stimulate ER alpha and ER beta transcriptional activity.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Coleman, KM; Dutertre, M; El-Gharbawy, A; Rowan, BG; Weigel, NL; Smith, CL

Published Date

  • April 11, 2003

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 278 / 15

Start / End Page

  • 12834 - 12845

PubMed ID

  • 12566449

Pubmed Central ID

  • 12566449

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0021-9258

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1074/jbc.M212312200


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States