Cooperativity and dimerization of recombinant human estrogen receptor hormone-binding domain
Brandt, M.E.; Vickery, L.E.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 272(8): 4843-4849
ISSN/ISBN: 0021-9258 PMID: 9030541 DOI: 10.1074/jbc.272.8.4843
The estrogen receptor dimerizes and exhibits cooperative ligand binding as part of its normal functioning. Interaction of the estrogen receptor with its ligands is mediated by a C-terminal hormone-binding domain (HBD), and residues within the HBD are thought to contribute to dimerization. To examine dimer interactions in the isolated HBD, a human estrogen receptor HBD fragment was expressed in high yield as a cleavable fusion protein in Escherichia coli. The isolated HBD peptide exhibited affinity for estradiol, ligand discrimination, and cooperative estradiol binding (Hill coefficient approximately 1.6) similar to the full-length protein. Circular dichroism spectroscopy suggests that the HBD contains significant amounts of alpha-helix ( approximately 60%) and some beta-strand ( approximately 7%) and that ligand binding induces little change in secondary structure. HBD dimer dissociation, measured using size exclusion chromatography, exhibited a half-life of approximately 1.2 h, which ligand binding increased approximately 3-fold (estradiol) to approximately 4-fold (4-hydroxytamoxifen). These results suggest that the isolated estrogen receptor HBD dimerizes and undergoes conformational changes associated with cooperative ligand binding in a manner comparable to the full-length protein, and that one effect of ligand binding is to alter the receptor dimer dissociation kinetics.