A-ring reduced metabolites of 19-nor synthetic progestins as subtype selective agonists for ER alpha.
It has previously been demonstrated that 19-nor contraceptive progestins undergo in vivo and in vitro enzyme-mediated A-ring double bond hydrogenation. Bioconversion of 19-nor progestins to their corresponding tetrahydro derivatives results in the loss of progestational activity and acquisition of estrogenic activities and binding to the ER. Herein, we report subtype-selective differences in ligand binding and transcriptional potency of nonphenolic synthetic 19-nor derivatives between ER alpha and ER beta. In this study, we have examined both ER- and PR-mediated transcriptional activity of a number of A-ring chemically reduced derivatives of norethisterone and Gestodene. Double bond hydrogenation decreased the transcriptional potency of norethisterone and Gestodene through both PR isoforms with a 100- to 1,000-fold difference, respectively. In terms of the effects of norethisterone and Gestodene and their corresponding 5 alpha-dihydro (5 alpha-norethisterone and 5 alpha-Gestodene), or 3 alpha,5 alpha-tetrahydro or 3 beta,5 alpha-tetrahydro derivatives (3 alpha,5 alpha-norethisterone/3 alpha,5 alpha-Gestodene and 3 beta,5 alpha-norethisterone/3beta,5 alpha-Gestodene, respectively) on estrogen-mediated transcriptional regulation, the 3 beta,5 alpha-tetrahydro derivatives of both norethisterone and Gestodene showed the highest induction when HeLa cells were transiently transfected with an expression vector for ER alpha. This activity could be inhibited with tamoxifen. These compounds did not activate gene transcription via ER beta, and none of them showed antagonistic activities through either ER subtype. The 3 beta,5 alpha-tetrahydro derivatives of both norethisterone and Gestodene were active in other cells in addition to HeLa cells and activated reporter expression through the oxytocin promoter. In summary, two ER alpha selective agonists have been identified. These compounds, with ER alpha vs. ER beta selective agonist activity, may be useful in evaluating the distinct role of these receptors as well as in providing useful insights into ER action.
Larrea, F; García-Becerra, R; Lemus, AE; García, GA; Pérez-Palacios, G; Jackson, KJ; Coleman, KM; Dace, R; Smith, CL; Cooney, AJ
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