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Special Issue "Molecular Pathways of Estrogen Receptor Action"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Biochemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2017).

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Farzad Pakdel
Website
Guest Editor
Research Institute in Health, Environment and Occupation (Irset), Inserm U1085, Transcription, Environment and Cancer Group, University of Rennes 1, Rennes, France
Interests: estrogen receptor; gene expression; transcription mechanisms; endocrine disrupter chemicals; breast cancer
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Estrogen Receptors (ERs), which belong to the nuclear receptor family, control a variety of physiological processes, including growth, development, and metabolism of reproductive and non-reproductive tissues. ERs are also intimately associated with several human pathologies, for instance, breast and ovarian cancers, osteoporosis, coronary or neurodegenerative diseases. The comprehension of the mechanisms underlining ER-mediated effects in these physiopathological processes is the main goal of this Special Issue. Notably, how do ERs control transcription and epigenetic regulations and interact with chromatin and cellular signaling pathways to regulate cell fate, such as proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis? What is the role of ligands, including environmental estrogens, in modulating genomic and non-genomic activity of ERs under normal and pathological conditions?

In order to provide a comprehensive overview of the molecular mechanisms of ERs, researchers are invited to submit original research, mini and full reviews for this Special Issue of the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, entitled “Molecular Pathways of Estrogen Receptor Action", which will cover a selection of topics, highlighting the key roles of ERs in health and disease.

Dr. Farzad Pakdel
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Estrogens and xenoestrogens
  • Selective Estrogen Receptor modulators
  • Ligand and cofactor interactions
  • Transcription
  • Epigenetics
  • Chromatin
  • Cell signaling
  • Cancer
  • Physiopathology

Published Papers (20 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Molecular Pathways of Estrogen Receptor Action
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(9), 2591; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19092591 - 31 Aug 2018
Cited by 3

Research

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Open AccessArticle
Nicotine Alters Estrogen Receptor-Beta-Regulated Inflammasome Activity and Exacerbates Ischemic Brain Damage in Female Rats
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(5), 1330; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19051330 - 30 Apr 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
Smoking is a preventable risk factor for stroke and smoking-derived nicotine exacerbates post-ischemic damage via inhibition of estrogen receptor beta (ER-β) signaling in the brain of female rats. ER-β regulates inflammasome activation in the brain. Therefore, we hypothesized that chronic nicotine exposure activates [...] Read more.
Smoking is a preventable risk factor for stroke and smoking-derived nicotine exacerbates post-ischemic damage via inhibition of estrogen receptor beta (ER-β) signaling in the brain of female rats. ER-β regulates inflammasome activation in the brain. Therefore, we hypothesized that chronic nicotine exposure activates the inflammasome in the brain, thus exacerbating ischemic brain damage in female rats. To test this hypothesis, adult female Sprague-Dawley rats (6–7 months old) were exposed to nicotine (4.5 mg/kg/day) or saline for 16 days. Subsequently, brain tissue was collected for immunoblot analysis. In addition, another set of rats underwent transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (tMCAO; 90 min) with or without nicotine exposure. One month after tMCAO, histopathological analysis revealed a significant increase in infarct volume in the nicotine-treated group (64.24 ± 7.3 mm3; mean ± SEM; n = 6) compared to the saline-treated group (37.12 ± 7.37 mm3; n = 7, p < 0.05). Immunoblot analysis indicated that nicotine increased cortical protein levels of caspase-1, apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a CARD (ASC) and pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-1β by 88% (p < 0.05), 48% (p < 0.05) and 149% (p < 0.05), respectively, when compared to the saline-treated group. Next, using an in vitro model of ischemia in organotypic slice cultures, we tested the hypothesis that inhibition of nicotine-induced inflammasome activation improves post-ischemic neuronal survival. Accordingly, slices were exposed to nicotine (100 ng/mL; 14–16 days) or saline, followed by treatment with the inflammasome inhibitor isoliquiritigenin (ILG; 24 h) prior to oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD; 45 min). Quantification of neuronal death demonstrated that inflammasome inhibition significantly decreased nicotine-induced ischemic neuronal death. Overall, this study shows that chronic nicotine exposure exacerbates ischemic brain damage via activation of the inflammasome in the brain of female rats. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Triclosan Lacks (Anti-)Estrogenic Effects in Zebrafish Cells but Modulates Estrogen Response in Zebrafish Embryos
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 1175; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19041175 - 12 Apr 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
Triclosan (TCS), an antimicrobial agent widely found in the aquatic environment, is suspected to act as an endocrine disrupting compound, however mechanistic information is lacking in regards to aquatic species. This study assessed the ability of TCS to interfere with estrogen receptor (ER) [...] Read more.
Triclosan (TCS), an antimicrobial agent widely found in the aquatic environment, is suspected to act as an endocrine disrupting compound, however mechanistic information is lacking in regards to aquatic species. This study assessed the ability of TCS to interfere with estrogen receptor (ER) transcriptional activity, in zebrafish-specific in vitro and in vivo reporter gene assays. We report that TCS exhibits a lack of either agonistic or antagonistic effects on a panel of ER-expressing zebrafish (ZELH-zfERα and -zfERβ) and human (MELN) cell lines. At the organism level, TCS at concentrations of up to 0.3 µM had no effect on ER-regulated brain aromatase gene expression in transgenic cyp19a1b-GFP zebrafish embryos. At a concentration of 1 µM, TCS interfered with the E2 response in an ambivalent manner by potentializing a low E2 response (0.625 nM), but decreasing a high E2 response (10 nM). Altogether, our study suggests that while modulation of ER-regulated genes by TCS may occur in zebrafish, it does so irrespective of a direct binding and activation of zfERs. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Mixture Concentration-Response Modeling Reveals Antagonistic Effects of Estradiol and Genistein in Combination on Brain Aromatase Gene (cyp19a1b) in Zebrafish
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 1047; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19041047 - 01 Apr 2018
Cited by 6
Abstract
Comprehension of compound interactions in mixtures is of increasing interest to scientists, especially from a perspective of mixture risk assessment. However, most of conducted studies have been dedicated to the effects on gonads, while only few of them were. interested in the effects [...] Read more.
Comprehension of compound interactions in mixtures is of increasing interest to scientists, especially from a perspective of mixture risk assessment. However, most of conducted studies have been dedicated to the effects on gonads, while only few of them were. interested in the effects on the central nervous system which is a known target for estrogenic compounds. In the present study, the effects of estradiol (E2), a natural estrogen, and genistein (GEN), a phyto-estrogen, on the brain ER-regulated cyp19a1b gene in radial glial cells were investigated alone and in mixtures. For that, zebrafish-specific in vitro and in vivo bioassays were used. In U251-MG transactivation assays, E2 and GEN produced antagonistic effects at low mixture concentrations. In the cyp19a1b-GFP transgenic zebrafish, this antagonism was observed at all ratios and all concentrations of mixtures, confirming the in vitro effects. In the present study, we confirm (i) that our in vitro and in vivo biological models are valuable complementary tools to assess the estrogenic potency of chemicals both alone and in mixtures; (ii) the usefulness of the ray design approach combined with the concentration-addition modeling to highlight interactions between mixture components. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Immune-Specific Expression and Estrogenic Regulation of the Four Estrogen Receptor Isoforms in Female Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 932; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19040932 - 21 Mar 2018
Cited by 6
Abstract
Genomic actions of estrogens in vertebrates are exerted via two intracellular estrogen receptor (ER) subtypes, ERα and ERβ, which show cell- and tissue-specific expression profiles. Mammalian immune cells express ERs and are responsive to estrogens. More recently, evidence became available that ERs are [...] Read more.
Genomic actions of estrogens in vertebrates are exerted via two intracellular estrogen receptor (ER) subtypes, ERα and ERβ, which show cell- and tissue-specific expression profiles. Mammalian immune cells express ERs and are responsive to estrogens. More recently, evidence became available that ERs are also present in the immune organs and cells of teleost fish, suggesting that the immunomodulatory function of estrogens has been conserved throughout vertebrate evolution. For a better understanding of the sensitivity and the responsiveness of the fish immune system to estrogens, more insight is needed on the abundance of ERs in the fish immune system, the cellular ratios of the ER subtypes, and their autoregulation by estrogens. Consequently, the aims of the present study were (i) to determine the absolute mRNA copy numbers of the four ER isoforms in the immune organs and cells of rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss, and to compare them to the hepatic ER numbers; (ii) to analyse the ER mRNA isoform ratios in the immune system; and, (iii) finally, to examine the alterations of immune ER mRNA expression levels in sexually immature trout exposed to 17β-estradiol (E2), as well as the alterations of immune ER mRNA expression levels in sexually mature trout during the reproductive cycle. All four ER isoforms were present in immune organs—head kidney, spleen-and immune cells from head kidney and blood of rainbow trout, but their mRNA levels were substantially lower than in the liver. The ER isoform ratios were tissue- and cell-specific, both within the immune system, but also between the immune system and the liver. Short-term administration of E2 to juvenile female trout altered the ER mRNA levels in the liver, but the ERs of the immune organs and cells were not responsive. Changes of ER gene transcript numbers in immune organs and cells occurred during the reproductive cycle of mature female trout, but the changes in the immune ER profiles differed from those in the liver and gonads. The correlation between ER gene transcript numbers and serum E2 concentrations was only moderate to low. In conclusion, the low mRNA numbers of nuclear ER in the trout immune system, together with their limited estrogen-responsiveness, suggest that the known estrogen actions on trout immunity may be not primarily mediated through genomic actions, but may involve other mechanisms, such as non-genomic pathways or indirect effects. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Expression Profile of Genes Regulating Steroid Biosynthesis and Metabolism in Human Ovarian Granulosa Cells—A Primary Culture Approach
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2673; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18122673 - 09 Dec 2017
Cited by 18
Abstract
Because of the deep involvement of granulosa cells in the processes surrounding the cycles of menstruation and reproduction, there is a great need for a deeper understanding of the ways in which they function during the various stages of those cycles. One of [...] Read more.
Because of the deep involvement of granulosa cells in the processes surrounding the cycles of menstruation and reproduction, there is a great need for a deeper understanding of the ways in which they function during the various stages of those cycles. One of the main ways in which the granulosa cells influence the numerous sex associated processes is hormonal interaction. Expression of steroid sex hormones influences a range of both primary and secondary sexual characteristics, as well as regulate the processes of oogenesis, folliculogenesis, ovulation, and pregnancy. Understanding of the exact molecular mechanisms underlying those processes could not only provide us with deep insight into the regulation of the reproductive cycle, but also create new clinical advantages in detection and treatment of various diseases associated with sex hormone abnormalities. We have used the microarray approach validated by RT-qPCR, to analyze the patterns of gene expression in primary cultures of human granulosa cells at days 1, 7, 15, and 30 of said cultures. We have especially focused on genes belonging to ontology groups associated with steroid biosynthesis and metabolism, namely “Regulation of steroid biosynthesis process” and “Regulation of steroid metabolic process”. Eleven genes have been chosen, as they exhibited major change under a culture condition. Out of those, ten genes, namely STAR, SCAP, POR, SREBF1, GFI1, SEC14L2, STARD4, INSIG1, DHCR7, and IL1B, belong to both groups. Patterns of expression of those genes were analyzed, along with brief description of their functions. That analysis helped us achieve a better understanding of the exact molecular processes underlying steroid biosynthesis and metabolism in human granulosa cells. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Estrogen Metabolism-Associated CYP2D6 and IL6-174G/C Polymorphisms in Schistosoma haematobium Infection
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(12), 2560; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18122560 - 28 Nov 2017
Cited by 4
Abstract
Schistosoma haematobium is a human blood fluke causing a chronic infection called urogenital schistosomiasis. Squamous cell carcinoma of the urinary bladder (SCC) constitutes chronic sequelae of this infection, and S. haematobium infection is accounted as a risk factor for this type of cancer. [...] Read more.
Schistosoma haematobium is a human blood fluke causing a chronic infection called urogenital schistosomiasis. Squamous cell carcinoma of the urinary bladder (SCC) constitutes chronic sequelae of this infection, and S. haematobium infection is accounted as a risk factor for this type of cancer. This infection is considered a neglected tropical disease and is endemic in numerous countries in Africa and the Middle East. Schistosome eggs produce catechol-estrogens. These estrogenic molecules are metabolized to active quinones that induce modifications in DNA. The cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes are a superfamily of mono-oxygenases involved in estrogen biosynthesis and metabolism, the generation of DNA damaging procarcinogens, and the response to anti-estrogen therapies. IL6 Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a pleiotropic cytokine expressed in various tissues. This cytokine is largely expressed in the female urogenital tract as well as reproductive organs. Very high or very low levels of IL-6 are associated with estrogen metabolism imbalance. In the present study, we investigated the polymorphic variants in the CYP2D6 gene and the C-174G promoter polymorphism of the IL-6 gene on S. haematobium-infected children patients from Guine Bissau. CYP2D6 inactivated alleles (28.5%) and IL6G-174C (13.3%) variants were frequent in S. haematobium-infected patients when compared to previously studied healthy populations (4.5% and 0.05%, respectively). Here we discuss our recent findings on these polymorphisms and whether they can be predictive markers of schistosome infection and/or represent potential biomarkers for urogenital schistosomiasis associated bladder cancer and infertility. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Understanding the Inguinal Sinus in Sheep (Ovis aries)—Morphology, Secretion, and Expression of Progesterone, Estrogens, and Prolactin Receptors
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(7), 1516; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18071516 - 13 Jul 2017
Cited by 1
Abstract
Post-parturient behavior of mammalian females is essential for early parent–offspring contact. After delivery, lambs need to ingest colostrum for obtaining the related immunological protection, and early interactions between the mother and the lamb are crucial. Despite visual and auditory cues, olfactory cues are [...] Read more.
Post-parturient behavior of mammalian females is essential for early parent–offspring contact. After delivery, lambs need to ingest colostrum for obtaining the related immunological protection, and early interactions between the mother and the lamb are crucial. Despite visual and auditory cues, olfactory cues are decisive in lamb orientation to the mammary gland. In sheep, the inguinal sinus is located bilaterally near the mammary gland as a skin pouch (IGS) that presents a gland that secretes a strong-smelling wax. Sheep IGS gland functions have many aspects under evaluation. The objective of the present study was to evaluate sheep IGS gland functional aspects and mRNA transcription and the protein expression of several hormone receptors, such as progesterone receptor (PGR), estrogen receptor 1 (ESR1), and 2 (ESR2) and prolactin receptor (PRLR) present. In addition, another aim was to achieve information about IGS ultrastructure and chemical compounds produced in this gland. All hormone receptors evaluated show expression in IGS during the estrous cycle (follicular/luteal phases), pregnancy, and the post-partum period. IGS secretion is rich in triterpenoids that totally differ from the surrounding skin. They might be essential substances for the development of an olfactory preference of newborns to their mothers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Variability in DNA Repair Capacity Levels among Molecular Breast Cancer Subtypes: Triple Negative Breast Cancer Shows Lowest Repair
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(7), 1505; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18071505 - 12 Jul 2017
Cited by 5
Abstract
Breast cancer (BC) is a heterogeneous disease which many studies have classified in at least four molecular subtypes: Luminal A, Luminal B, HER2-Enriched, and Basal-like (including triple-negative breast cancer, TNBC). These subtypes provide information to stratify patients for better prognostic predictions and treatment [...] Read more.
Breast cancer (BC) is a heterogeneous disease which many studies have classified in at least four molecular subtypes: Luminal A, Luminal B, HER2-Enriched, and Basal-like (including triple-negative breast cancer, TNBC). These subtypes provide information to stratify patients for better prognostic predictions and treatment selection. Individuals vary in their sensitivities to carcinogens due to differences in their DNA repair capacity (DRC) levels. Although our previous case-control study established low DRC (in terms of NER pathway) as a BC risk factor, we aim to study this effect among the molecular subtypes. Therefore, the objectives of this study include investigating whether DRC varies among molecular subtypes and testing any association regarding DRC. This study comprised 267 recently diagnosed women with BC (cases) and 682 without BC (controls). Our results show a substantial variability in DRC among the molecular subtypes, with TNBC cases (n = 47) having the lowest DRC (p-value < 0.05). Almost 80 percent of BC cases had a DRC below the median (4.3%). Low DRC was strongly associated with the TNBC subtype (OR 7.2; 95% CI 3.3, 15.7). In conclusion, our study provides the first report on the variability among the molecular subtypes and provides a hypothesis based on DRC levels for the poor prognosis of TNBC. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Emerging Roles of Estrogen-Related Receptors in the Brain: Potential Interactions with Estrogen Signaling
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(4), 1091; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19041091 - 05 Apr 2018
Cited by 12
Abstract
In addition to their well-known role in the female reproductive system, estrogens can act in the brain to regulate a wide range of behaviors and physiological functions in both sexes. Over the past few decades, genetically modified animal models have greatly increased our [...] Read more.
In addition to their well-known role in the female reproductive system, estrogens can act in the brain to regulate a wide range of behaviors and physiological functions in both sexes. Over the past few decades, genetically modified animal models have greatly increased our knowledge about the roles of estrogen receptor (ER) signaling in the brain in behavioral and physiological regulations. However, less attention has been paid to the estrogen-related receptors (ERRs), the members of orphan nuclear receptors whose sequences are homologous to ERs but lack estrogen-binding ability. While endogenous ligands of ERRs remain to be determined, they seemingly share transcriptional targets with ERs and their expression can be directly regulated by ERs through the estrogen-response element embedded within the regulatory region of the genes encoding ERRs. Despite the broad expression of ERRs in the brain, we have just begun to understand the fundamental roles they play at molecular, cellular, and circuit levels. Here, we review recent research advancement in understanding the roles of ERs and ERRs in the brain, with particular emphasis on ERRs, and discuss possible cross-talk between ERs and ERRs in behavioral and physiological regulations. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Estrogen, Angiogenesis, Immunity and Cell Metabolism: Solving the Puzzle
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(3), 859; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19030859 - 15 Mar 2018
Cited by 23
Abstract
Estrogen plays an important role in the regulation of cardiovascular physiology and the immune system by inducing direct effects on multiple cell types including immune and vascular cells. Sex steroid hormones are implicated in cardiovascular protection, including endothelial healing in case of arterial [...] Read more.
Estrogen plays an important role in the regulation of cardiovascular physiology and the immune system by inducing direct effects on multiple cell types including immune and vascular cells. Sex steroid hormones are implicated in cardiovascular protection, including endothelial healing in case of arterial injury and collateral vessel formation in ischemic tissue. Estrogen can exert potent modulation effects at all levels of the innate and adaptive immune systems. Their action is mediated by interaction with classical estrogen receptors (ERs), ERα and ERβ, as well as the more recently identified G-protein coupled receptor 30/G-protein estrogen receptor 1 (GPER1), via both genomic and non-genomic mechanisms. Emerging data from the literature suggest that estrogen deficiency in menopause is associated with an increased potential for an unresolved inflammatory status. In this review, we provide an overview through the puzzle pieces of how 17β-estradiol can influence the cardiovascular and immune systems. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Estrogen Receptor Signaling in Radiotherapy: From Molecular Mechanisms to Clinical Studies
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(3), 713; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19030713 - 02 Mar 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
Numerous studies have established a proof of concept that abnormal expression and function of estrogen receptors (ER) are crucial processes in initiation and development of hormone-related cancers and also affect the efficacy of anti-cancer therapy. Radiotherapy has been applied as one of the [...] Read more.
Numerous studies have established a proof of concept that abnormal expression and function of estrogen receptors (ER) are crucial processes in initiation and development of hormone-related cancers and also affect the efficacy of anti-cancer therapy. Radiotherapy has been applied as one of the most common and potent therapeutic strategies, which is synergistic with surgical excision, chemotherapy and targeted therapy for treating malignant tumors. However, the impact of ionizing radiation on ER expression and ER-related signaling in cancer tissue, as well as the interaction between endocrine and irradiation therapy remains largely elusive. This review will discuss recent findings on ER and ER-related signaling, which are relevant for cancer radiotherapy. In addition, we will summarize pre-clinical and clinical studies that evaluate the consequences of anti-estrogen and irradiation therapy in cancer, including emerging studies on head and neck cancer, which might improve the understanding and development of novel therapeutic strategies for estrogen-related cancers. Full article
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Open AccessReview
The Role of the Estrogen Pathway in the Tumor Microenvironment
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 611; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020611 - 19 Feb 2018
Cited by 23
Abstract
Estrogen receptors are broadly expressed in many cell types involved in the innate and adaptive immune responses, and differentially regulate the production of cytokines. While both genomic and non-genomic tumor cell promoting mechanisms of estrogen signaling are well characterized in multiple carcinomas including [...] Read more.
Estrogen receptors are broadly expressed in many cell types involved in the innate and adaptive immune responses, and differentially regulate the production of cytokines. While both genomic and non-genomic tumor cell promoting mechanisms of estrogen signaling are well characterized in multiple carcinomas including breast, ovarian, and lung, recent investigations have identified a potential immune regulatory role of estrogens in the tumor microenvironment. Tumor immune tolerance is a well-established mediator of oncogenesis, with increasing evidence indicating the importance of the immune response in tumor progression. Immune-based therapies such as antibodies that block checkpoint signals have emerged as exciting therapeutic approaches for cancer treatment, offering durable remissions and prolonged survival. However, only a subset of patients demonstrate clinical response to these agents, prompting efforts to elucidate additional immunosuppressive mechanisms within the tumor microenvironment. Evidence drawn from multiple cancer types, including carcinomas traditionally classified as non-immunogenic, implicate estrogen as a potential mediator of immunosuppression through modulation of protumor responses independent of direct activity on tumor cells. Herein, we review the interplay between estrogen and the tumor microenvironment and the clinical implications of endocrine therapy as a novel treatment strategy within immuno-oncology. Full article
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Open AccessReview
miRNA as a New Regulatory Mechanism of Estrogen Vascular Action
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 473; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020473 - 06 Feb 2018
Cited by 10
Abstract
The beneficial effects of estrogen on the cardiovascular system have been reported extensively. In fact, the incidence of cardiovascular diseases in women is lower than in age-matched men during their fertile stage of life, a benefit that disappears after menopause. These sex-related differences [...] Read more.
The beneficial effects of estrogen on the cardiovascular system have been reported extensively. In fact, the incidence of cardiovascular diseases in women is lower than in age-matched men during their fertile stage of life, a benefit that disappears after menopause. These sex-related differences point to sexual hormones, mainly estrogen, as possible cardiovascular protective factors. The regulation of vascular function by estrogen is mainly related to the maintenance of normal endothelial function and is mediated by both direct and indirect gene transcription through the activity of specific estrogen receptors. Some of these mechanisms are known, but many remain to be elucidated. In recent years, microRNAs have been established as non-coding RNAs that regulate the expression of a high percentage of protein-coding genes in mammals and are related to the correct function of human physiology. Moreover, within the cardiovascular system, miRNAs have been related to physiological and pathological conditions. In this review, we address what is known about the role of estrogen-regulated miRNAs and their emerging involvement in vascular biology. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Natural Anti-Estrogen Receptor Alpha Antibodies Able to Induce Estrogenic Responses in Breast Cancer Cells: Hypotheses Concerning Their Mechanisms of Action and Emergence
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 411; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020411 - 30 Jan 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
The detection of human anti-estrogen receptor α antibodies (ERαABs) inducing estrogenic responses in MCF-7 mammary tumor cells suggests their implication in breast cancer emergence and/or evolution. A recent report revealing a correlation between the titer of such antibodies in sera from patients suffering [...] Read more.
The detection of human anti-estrogen receptor α antibodies (ERαABs) inducing estrogenic responses in MCF-7 mammary tumor cells suggests their implication in breast cancer emergence and/or evolution. A recent report revealing a correlation between the titer of such antibodies in sera from patients suffering from this disease and the percentage of proliferative cells in samples taken from their tumors supports this concept. Complementary evidence of the ability of ERαABs to interact with an epitope localized within the estradiol-binding core of ERα also argues in its favor. This epitope is indeed inserted in a regulatory platform implicated in ERα-initiated signal transduction pathways and transcriptions. According to some experimental observations, two auto-immune reactions may already be advocated to explain the emergence of ERαABs: one involving probably the idiotypic network to produce antibodies acting as estrogenic secretions and the other based on antibodies able to abrogate the action of a natural ERα inhibitor or to prevent the competitive inhibitory potency of released receptor degradation products able to entrap circulating estrogens and co-activators. All of this information, the aspect of which is mainly fundamental, may open new ways in the current tendency to combine immunological and endocrine approaches for the management of breast cancer. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Signaling by Steroid Hormones in the 3D Nuclear Space
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(2), 306; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19020306 - 23 Jan 2018
Cited by 10
Abstract
Initial studies showed that ligand-activated hormone receptors act by binding to the proximal promoters of individual target genes. Genome-wide studies have now revealed that regulation of transcription by steroid hormones mainly depends on binding of the receptors to distal regulatory elements. Those distal [...] Read more.
Initial studies showed that ligand-activated hormone receptors act by binding to the proximal promoters of individual target genes. Genome-wide studies have now revealed that regulation of transcription by steroid hormones mainly depends on binding of the receptors to distal regulatory elements. Those distal elements, either enhancers or silencers, act on the regulation of target genes by chromatin looping to the gene promoters. In the nucleus, this level of chromatin folding is integrated within dynamic higher orders of genome structures, which are organized in a non-random fashion. Terminally differentiated cells exhibit a tissue-specific three-dimensional (3D) organization of the genome that favors or restrains the activity of transcription factors and modulates the function of steroid hormone receptors, which are transiently activated upon hormone exposure. Conversely, integration of the hormones signal may require modifications of the 3D organization to allow appropriate transcriptional outcomes. In this review, we summarize the main levels of organization of the genome, review how they can modulate the response to steroids in a cell specific manner and discuss the role of receptors in shaping and rewiring the structure in response to hormone. Taking into account the dynamics of 3D genome organization will contribute to a better understanding of the pleiotropic effects of steroid hormones in normal and cancer cells. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Hypoxia and Hormone-Mediated Pathways Converge at the Histone Demethylase KDM4B in Cancer
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(1), 240; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19010240 - 13 Jan 2018
Cited by 8
Abstract
Hormones play an important role in pathophysiology. The hormone receptors, such as estrogen receptor alpha and androgen receptor in breast cancer and prostate cancer, are critical to cancer cell proliferation and tumor growth. In this review we focused on the cross-talk between hormone [...] Read more.
Hormones play an important role in pathophysiology. The hormone receptors, such as estrogen receptor alpha and androgen receptor in breast cancer and prostate cancer, are critical to cancer cell proliferation and tumor growth. In this review we focused on the cross-talk between hormone and hypoxia pathways, particularly in breast cancer. We delineated a novel signaling pathway from estrogen receptor to hypoxia-inducible factor 1, and discussed the role of this pathway in endocrine therapy resistance. Further, we discussed the estrogen and hypoxia pathways converging at histone demethylase KDM4B, an important epigenetic modifier in cancer. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Steroid and Xenobiotic Receptor Signalling in Apoptosis and Autophagy of the Nervous System
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(11), 2394; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18112394 - 11 Nov 2017
Cited by 21
Abstract
Apoptosis and autophagy are involved in neural development and in the response of the nervous system to a variety of insults. Apoptosis is responsible for cell elimination, whereas autophagy can eliminate the cells or keep them alive, even in conditions lacking trophic factors. [...] Read more.
Apoptosis and autophagy are involved in neural development and in the response of the nervous system to a variety of insults. Apoptosis is responsible for cell elimination, whereas autophagy can eliminate the cells or keep them alive, even in conditions lacking trophic factors. Therefore, both processes may function synergistically or antagonistically. Steroid and xenobiotic receptors are regulators of apoptosis and autophagy; however, their actions in various pathologies are complex. In general, the estrogen (ER), progesterone (PR), and mineralocorticoid (MR) receptors mediate anti-apoptotic signalling, whereas the androgen (AR) and glucocorticoid (GR) receptors participate in pro-apoptotic pathways. ER-mediated neuroprotection is attributed to estrogen and selective ER modulators in apoptosis- and autophagy-related neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, stroke, multiple sclerosis, and retinopathies. PR activation appeared particularly effective in treating traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries and ischemic stroke. Except for in the retina, activated GR is engaged in neuronal cell death, whereas MR signalling appeared to be associated with neuroprotection. In addition to steroid receptors, the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) mediates the induction and propagation of apoptosis, whereas the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) inhibit this programmed cell death. Most of the retinoid X receptor-related xenobiotic receptors stimulate apoptotic processes that accompany neural pathologies. Among the possible therapeutic strategies based on targeting apoptosis via steroid and xenobiotic receptors, the most promising are the selective modulators of the ER, AR, AHR, PPARγ agonists, flavonoids, and miRNAs. The prospective therapies to overcome neuronal cell death by targeting autophagy via steroid and xenobiotic receptors are much less recognized. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Estrogen, Estrogen Receptor and Lung Cancer
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(8), 1713; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18081713 - 05 Aug 2017
Cited by 29
Abstract
Estrogen has been postulated as a contributor for lung cancer development and progression. We reviewed the current knowledge about the expression and prognostic implications of the estrogen receptors (ER) in lung cancer, the effect and signaling pathway of estrogen on lung cancer, the [...] Read more.
Estrogen has been postulated as a contributor for lung cancer development and progression. We reviewed the current knowledge about the expression and prognostic implications of the estrogen receptors (ER) in lung cancer, the effect and signaling pathway of estrogen on lung cancer, the hormone replacement therapy and lung cancer risk and survival, the mechanistic relationship between the ER and the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), and the relevant clinical trials combining the ER antagonist and the EGFR antagonist, to investigate the role of estrogen in lung cancer. Estrogen and its receptor have the potential to become a prognosticator and a therapeutic target in lung cancer. On the other hand, tobacco smoking aggravates the effect of estrogen and endocrine disruptive chemicals from the environment targeting ER may well contribute to the lung carcinogenesis. They have gradually become important issues in the course of preventive medicine. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Phytochemicals Targeting Estrogen Receptors: Beneficial Rather Than Adverse Effects?
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(7), 1381; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18071381 - 28 Jun 2017
Cited by 38
Abstract
In mammals, the effects of estrogen are mainly mediated by two different estrogen receptors, ERα and ERβ. These proteins are members of the nuclear receptor family, characterized by distinct structural and functional domains, and participate in the regulation of different biological processes, including [...] Read more.
In mammals, the effects of estrogen are mainly mediated by two different estrogen receptors, ERα and ERβ. These proteins are members of the nuclear receptor family, characterized by distinct structural and functional domains, and participate in the regulation of different biological processes, including cell growth, survival and differentiation. The two estrogen receptor (ER) subtypes are generated from two distinct genes and have partially distinct expression patterns. Their activities are modulated differently by a range of natural and synthetic ligands. Some of these ligands show agonistic or antagonistic effects depending on ER subtype and are described as selective ER modulators (SERMs). Accordingly, a few phytochemicals, called phytoestrogens, which are synthesized from plants and vegetables, show low estrogenic activity or anti-estrogenic activity with potentially anti-proliferative effects that offer nutraceutical or pharmacological advantages. These compounds may be used as hormonal substitutes or as complements in breast cancer treatments. In this review, we discuss and summarize the in vitro and in vivo effects of certain phytoestrogens and their potential roles in the interaction with estrogen receptors. Full article
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