PMID: 2514808Dec 12, 1989Paper

Intermolecular engagement of estrogen receptors indicated by the formation of a high molecular weight complex during activation

K NelsonE J Pavlik


After exposure to ligand at 0-4 degrees C, estrogen receptors from mouse uteri characteristically eluted between thyroglobulin (Mr 669,000) and ferritin (Mr 443,000) during size-exclusion HPLC. However, when preparations were warmed with ligand under mild activating conditions, most or all of the receptor was observed as a much larger complex, which eluted between dextran blue 2000 and thyroglobulin. Formation of the large complex required ligand, was inhibited by molybdate, and occurred even in 0.4 M KCl. Slower ligand dissociation characterized the large complex, indicating that activated receptors were included preferentially. This large complex did not form when charged cytosols were aged, concentrated, or precipitated, indicating that formation was not the result of random aggregation. After exposure to conditions commonly used for activation (25 degrees C, 60 min), most receptor existed as a very large, monodisperse complex of finite size, predicting an ordered structure for these large complexes that should be useful for defining the types of proteins which can interact with estrogen receptors. Formation of the large complex was not impeded or disrupted by EDTA, RNase, DNase I, thiourea, or mercaptoethanol; however, the ...Continue Reading


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