Characterization of membrane estrogen binding proteins from rabbit uterus

Paula Monje, Ricardo Boland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Estrogens exert fast non-genomic actions in their target tissues which may involve the participation of receptors located at the cell membrane. Studies were performed to identify and characterize membrane-associated 17β- estradiol binding proteins in rabbit uterus. Specific and saturable [3H]17β-estradiol binding sites of high affinity (K(d) = 0.36 nM) were detected in uterine microsomes at higher concentration than in cytosol (370 ± 98 vs. 270 ± 87 fmol/mg protein, respectively). Various other steroid hormones, the stereoisomer 17α-estradiol and the antiestrogen tamoxifen were significantly less effective than 17β-estradiol to compete with the radioactive ligand for binding to the membranes. The microsome binding sites were trypsin-sensitive and could be extracted to a great extent (80-90%) with 0.4/0.6 M KCl. Assays of the marker enzyme glucose-6-P dehydrogenase excluded membrane contamination with cytosolic soluble components. Immunoblot analysis of particulate and soluble fractions using monoclonal antibodies against the transactivation, heat shock protein recognition, and steroid binding domains of the nuclear estrogen receptor (ER; 67 kDa), revealed lower concentrations of the ER in membranes and the presence of five additional immunoreactive proteins of 57, 50, 32, 28, and 11 kDa which were absent in cytosol. Moreover, the antibody against the steroid binding domain was as effective as an inhibitor for cytosolic and membrane specific radioligand binding. Extraction of microsomes with the nondenaturing detergent CHAPS allowed a 2- fold enrichment of ER-like binding proteins as shown by antibody labeling and [3H]17β-estradiol binding analysis. The results of this work are consistent with the existence of novel 17β-estradiol membrane binding proteins structurally related to the intracellular ER. Future studies should investigate whether any of these proteins are involved in the primary events (e.g. receptor function) mediating nongenomic estrogen effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-84
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 25 1999

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by grants from the Agencia Nacional de Promoción Cientı́fica y Tecnológica, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientı́ficas y Técnicas (CONICET), and the Comisión de Investigaciones Cientı́ficas de la Provincia de Buenos Aires (CIC), Argentina, and the Volkswagen Foundation, Germany. Paula Monje is a recipient of a CONICET research fellowship.


  • Estrogens
  • Immunoreactive
  • Microsomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology


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