Presence of estrogens and estrogen receptor-like proteins in solanum glaucophyllum

Lorena Milanesi, Paula Monje, Ricardo Boland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


The synthesis of mammalian steroid hormones by plants has been reported. However, their physiological role in plants is controversial. The existence of receptor molecules as those of animal cells could provide clues into a possible steroid mechanism of action. Solanum glaucophyllum callus cultures were found to contain not only 17β-estradiol and estrone but also abundant estrogen binding sites. These sites were specific for 17β-estradiol (∼550 fmol/mg protein) and could also be competed by the known estrogen receptor (ER) agonist diethylstilbestrol. Antibodies directed against specific sequences of the classical ER α isoform, labelled a ∼67 kDa band which comigrated with the mammalian ER α antigen. ER α-like proteins were tested positive as estrogen binders in Ligand blot experiments using 17β-estradiol macromolecular derivatives as ligands. Our results provide first evidences on the existence of estrogen binding proteins structurally related to the mammalian ER α subtype in a higher plant system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1175-1179
Number of pages5
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 21 2001

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by grants from the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica and Universidad Nacional del Sur, Argentina. We thank IACA Laboratories (Bahía Blanca, Argentina) for their collaboration in plant hormone quantification assays.


  • 17β-estradiol
  • Callus
  • Estrogen binding proteins
  • Estrogen receptor (ER)
  • Solanum glaucophyllum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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