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Physiological coupling of growth factor and steroid receptor signaling pathways: estrogen receptor knockout mice lack estrogen-like response to epidermal growth factor

Physiological coupling of growth factor and steroid receptor signaling pathways: estrogen receptor knockout mice lack estrogen-like response to epidermal growth factor

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 93(22): 12626-12630

ISSN/ISBN: 0027-8424

PMID: 8901633

DOI: 10.2307/40669

Past studies have shown that epidermal growth factor (EGF) is able to mimic the uterotropic effects of estrogen in the rodent. These studies have suggested a "cross-talk" model in which EGF receptor (EGF-R) signaling results in activation of nuclear estrogen receptor (ER) and its target genes in an estrogen-independent manner. Furthermore, in vitro studies have indicated the requirement for ER in this mechanism. To verify the requirement for ER in an in vivo system, EGF effects were studied in the uteri of ER knockout (ERKO) mice, which lack functional ER. The EGF-R levels, autophosphorylation, and c-fos induction were observed at equivalent levels in both genotypes indicating that removal of ER did not disrupt the EGF responses. Induction of DNA synthesis and the progesterone receptor gene in the uterus were measured after EGF treatment of both ERKO and wild-type animals. Wild-type mice showed increases of 4.3-fold in DNA synthesis, as well as an increase in PR mRNA after EGF treatment. However, these responses were absent in ERKO mice, confirming that the estrogen-like effects of EGF in the mouse uterus do indeed require the ER. These data conclusively demonstrate the coupling of EGF and ER signaling pathways in the rodent reproductive tract.

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Accession: 046988461

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