Estrogen receptor alpha (ERα)–mediated coregulator binding and gene expression discriminates the toxic ERα agonist diethylstilbestrol (DES) from the endogenous ERα agonist 17β-estradiol (E2)

A.H.B. Adam*, Laura H.J. de Haan, Ignacio Miro Estruch, Guido J.E.J. Hooiveld, Jochem Louisse, Ivonne M.C.M. Rietjens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Diethylstilbestrol (DES) is a synthetic estrogen and proven human teratogen and carcinogen reported to act via the estrogen receptor α (ERα). Since the endogenous ERα ligand 17β-estradiol (E2) does not show these adverse effects to a similar extent, we hypothesized that DES’ interaction with the ERα differs from that of E2. The current study aimed to investigate possible differences between DES and E2 using in vitro assays that detect ERα-mediated effects, including ERα-mediated reporter gene expression, ERα-mediated breast cancer cell (T47D) proliferation and ERα-coregulator interactions and gene expression in T47D cells. Results obtained indicate that DES and E2 activate ERα-mediated reporter gene transcription and T47D cell proliferation in a similar way. However, significant differences between DES- and E2-induced binding of the ERα to 15 coregulator motifs and in transcriptomic signatures obtained in the T47D cells were observed. It is concluded that differences observed in binding of the ERα with several co-repressor motifs, in downregulation of genes involved in histone deacetylation and DNA methylation and in upregulation of CYP26A1 and CYP26B1 contribute to the differential effects reported for DES and E2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-435
JournalCell biology and toxicology
Volume36
Early online date22 Feb 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

Keywords

  • 17β-estradiol
  • Coregulator binding
  • Diethylstilbestrol
  • Estrogen receptor alpha
  • Transcriptomics

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