Result of ER activation differs when generated by a ligand versus a growth factor, according to PLoS-ONE Paper.

Researchers showed that estrogen receptor-alpha’s response depends on the manner of regulation. Estrogen receptor activity is regulated in two ways. One is called ligand- or steroid-dependent in which the receptor has to bind to a small molecule to become active. The other is independent of the ligand and requires the action of another kind of molecule such as a growth factor to become active.

Scientists used a cell line containing an estrogen receptor that was marked with a green fluorescent protein. This system enabled them to differentiate the manner in which estrogen receptor responded to a ligand (estradiol) and to a growth factor (epidermal growth factor).

“Collectively, our work shows that there is a stimuli-specific pattern of large-scale chromatin modification and transcript levels by ER,” the investigators note.

The study was conducted by scientists at Baylor College of Medicine and University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio. The research is published in the current issue of the Public Library of Science-ONE.

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