Estrogen receptor stereochemistry: ligand binding and hormonal responsiveness

DES used as probe to segregate various genomic responses previously considered interrelated

1991 Study Abstract

Estrogen stimulation of the uterus produces a spectrum of biochemical responses that are customarily linked together.

This report is an overview of a series of studies by our laboratory investigating the role of different ligand structures in eliciting hormonal responses.

Diethylstilbestrol (DES) and certain structural analogs, indenestrol A (IA), indenestrol B (IB), and pseudo-DES, were used as probes to segregate various genomic responses previously considered interrelated, most notably the events of specific protein synthesis and DNA synthesis.

These compounds have weak uterotrophic activity; however, they interact with high affinity specifically with mouse uterine estrogen receptors (ERs). All of them produce stoichiometrically similar amounts of ER complex in the nucleus. Indenestrol A and IB possess a single chiral carbon atom and exist as a mixture of enantiomers (ENTs). Competitive binding assays of pure ENTs and cytosolic ERs demonstrated a stereochemical chiral preference for the IA isomer but not IB. This preference was also evident from nuclear ER occupancy experiments. Biologic activity of the IA ENTs also demonstrated differences as seen by receptor binding. Ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) activity was stimulated 600% by DES and partially by IA (rac). All of the ODC activity produced by IA (rac) was due to the IA(C3)-S ENT. Uterine DNA synthesis was measured after treatment with the IA compounds. Indenestrol A (rac) increased DNA synthesis to 40% of the level seen with DES. The weak ENTs showed no activity and the active ENTs were weaker than the IA racemic.

These compounds should be useful probes for studying the individual responses involved in estrogen-induced uterine growth.

Sources and more information
  • Estrogen receptor stereochemistry: ligand binding and hormonal responsiveness, Steroids, NCBI PubMed PMID: 1877066, 1991 May.
  • C-Myc-DNA_complex featured image credit wikipedia.

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