The human brain has distinct regional expression patterns of estrogen receptor α mRNA isoforms derived from alternative promoters

Marie K. Österlund, Kaj Grandien, Eva Keller, Yasmin L. Hurd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations

Abstract

The human estrogen receptor (ER) α gene is transcribed from multiple promoters, generating mRNA isoforms with unique 5' ends in the untranslated region. In the present study, alternative promoters were shown to regulate the ERα gene expression in different neuronal populations of the human brain. By using in situ hybridization histochemistry, the A and B promoters, but not the C promoter, in the ERα gene were found to be active in the human forebrain. The mRNA isoform transcribed from the A promoter was expressed in low levels in most of the brain areas where ERα mRNA was present. In contrast, the B promoter mRNA isoform was more restricted, localized predominantly in high-expressing ERα mRNA regions. The gross anatomical distribution of the different mRNA isoforms analyzed with RT-PCR generally supported the results obtained by the in situ hybridization. Estrogen is known to modulate many different brain functions, such as neuroendocrine events associated with reproduction, mood, and cognition, likely to be mediated by different neuronal populations. Thus, the current findings of alternative ERα promoter expression in distinct neuronal populations suggest that multiple promoter usage is a possible mechanism to achieve differentiated regulation of the ERα expression, dependent on the cell phenotype and consequently the functions mediated by the specific neuron.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1390-1397
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Volume75
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Limbic system
  • Ln situ hybridization histochemistry
  • Promoter usage
  • Steroid hormone receptor
  • Temporal lobe

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