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Estrogen-related receptor alpha

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Title: Estrogen-related receptor alpha  
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Subject: Estrogen-related receptor, Nuclear receptor, Sirtuin 1, Sir2, Transcription factors
Collection: Intracellular Receptors, Transcription Factors
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Estrogen-related receptor alpha

Estrogen-related receptor alpha

PDB rendering based on 1lo1.
Available structures
PDB Ortholog search: PDBe, RCSB
Symbols  ; ERR1; ERRa; ERRalpha; ESRL1; NR3B1
External IDs IUPHAR: ChEMBL: GeneCards:
RNA expression pattern
Species Human Mouse
RefSeq (mRNA)
RefSeq (protein)
Location (UCSC)
PubMed search

Estrogen-related receptor alpha (ERR-α), also known as NR3B1 (nuclear receptor subfamily 3, group B, member 1), is a nuclear receptor that in humans is encoded by the ESRRA (Estrogen Related Receptor Alpha) gene.[1][2] ERR-α was originally cloned by DNA sequence homology to the estrogen receptor alpha (ER-α, NR3A1),[2] but subsequent ligand binding and reporter-gene transfection experiments demonstrated that estrogens did not regulate ERR-α.[3] Currently, ERRα is considered an orphan nuclear receptor.[2][3]


  • Tissue distribution 1
  • Function 2
    • Metabolism 2.1
    • Estrogen signaling 2.2
  • Ligands 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Tissue distribution

ERR-α has wide tissue distribution but it is most highly expressed in tissues that preferentially use fatty acids as energy sources such as kidney, heart, cerebellum, intestine, and skeletal muscle.[4] Recently, ERR-α has been detected in normal adrenal cortex tissues, in which its expression is possibly related to adrenal development, with a possible role in fetal adrenal function, in DHEAS production in adrenarche, and also in steroid production of post-adrenarche/adult life.[5]


The protein encoded by this gene is a nuclear receptor that is closely related to the estrogen receptor. Results of both in vitro and in vivo studies suggest that ERR-α is required for the activation of mitochondrial genes as well as increased mitochondrial biogenesis.[6][7] This protein acts as a site-specific (consensus TNAAGGTCA) transcription regulator and has been also shown to interact with estrogen and the transcription factor TFIIB by direct protein-protein contact. The binding and regulatory activities of this protein have been demonstrated in the regulation of a variety of genes including lactoferrin, osteopontin, medium-chain acyl coenzyme A dehydrogenase (MCAD) and thyroid hormone receptor genes. It was reported that ERR-α can activate reporters containing steroidogenesis factor 1 (SF-1) response elements as a result of transient transfection assays,[8] and a possible role of ERR-α in steroidogenesis with relation to SF-1 was subsequently demonstrated in adrenocortical cells.[9] The transcriptional activation of CYP17A1 and SULT2A1 in the adrenal has been proposed as the mechanism of action possibly accounting for the increment in DHEAS serum levels by ERR-α.[9] ERR-α has been suggested to act as a transcriptional activator of CYP11B1 and CYP11B2, which indicates that this nuclear receptor may be required for the production of cortisol and aldosterone in the adrenal gland.[10]


ERR-α regulates genes involved in mitochondrial biogenesis,[11] gluconeogenesis,[12] oxidative phosphorylation,[13] and fatty acid metabolism.[14] It was recently identified as an important regulator of the mammalian circadian clock, and its output pathways at both transcriptional and physiological levels regulated the expression of transcription factors involved in metabolic homeostasis.[15] It has been demonstrated that ERRα is required for the maintenance of diurnal cholesterol, glucose, insulin, bile acid, and trygliceride levels as well as locomotor rhythms in mice.[15] ERRα is related to mitochondrial function but studies involving ERR-α knockout mice suggested that this receptor, while dispensable for basal cellular function, is definitely necessary to provide the levels of energy necessary to respond to physiological and pathological insults in diverse tissues,[3] the lack of that nuclear receptor leading to impaired fat metabolism and absorption.[16]

Estrogen signaling

Estrogen receptor alpha (ER-α) and estrogen related receptor alpha (ERR-α) have been found to regulate many of the same genes.[17][18] Furthermore ERR-α appears to modulate the activity of ER-α in various tissues including breast, uterus, and bone.[19]


No endogenous ligands of ERR-α have been identified to date, hence ERR-α is classified as an orphan receptor. In addition both biochemical and structural studies indicate that ERR-α is constitutively active in the absence of ligand.[20] ERR-α does, however, interact with the metabolic-inducible coactivator PGC1-α in its AF2 region which is sometimes referred to as the "protein ligand" of ERR-α.

The isoflavone phytoestrogens genistein and daidzein are non-selective ERR agonists,[21] while XCT790 has been identified as a potent and selective inverse agonist of ERR-α.[22]

See also


  1. ^ "Entrez Gene: ESRRA estrogen-related receptor alpha". 
  2. ^ a b c Giguère V, Yang N, Segui P, Evans RM (January 1988). "Identification of a new class of steroid hormone receptors". Nature 331 (6151): 91–4.  
  3. ^ a b c Deblois G, Giguère V. (August 2011). "Functional and physiological genomics of estrogen-related receptors (ERRs) in health and disease". Biochim Biophys Acta 1812 (8): 1032–40.  
  4. ^ Bookout AL, Jeong Y, Downes M, Yu RT, Evans RM, Mangelsdorf DJ (August 2006). "Anatomical profiling of nuclear receptor expression reveals a hierarchical transcriptional network". Cell 126 (4): 789–99.  
  5. ^ Felizola SJA, Nakamura Y, Hui XG, Satoh F, Morimoto R, McNamara KM, Midorikawa S, Suzuki S, Rainey WE, Sasano H (January 2013). "Estrogen-related receptor α in normal adrenal cortex and adrenocortical tumors: involvement in development and oncogenesis". Molecular and cellular endocrinology 365 (2): 207–11.  
  6. ^ Schreiber SN, Emter R, Hock MB, Knutti D, Cardenas J, Podvinec M, Oakeley EJ, Kralli A (April 2004). "The estrogen-related receptor alpha (ERRalpha) functions in PPARgamma coactivator 1alpha (PGC-1alpha)-induced mitochondrial biogenesis". Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 101 (17): 6472–6477.  
  7. ^ Villena JA, Hock MB, Chang WY, Barcas JE, Giguère V, Kralli A (January 2007). "Orphan nuclear receptor estrogen-related receptor alpha is essential for adaptive thermogenesis". Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 104 (4): 1418–1423.  
  8. ^ Bonnelye E, Vanacker JM, Dittmar T, Begue A, Desbiens X, Denhardt DT, Aubin JE, Laudet V, Fournier B. (January 1997). "The ERR-1 orphan receptor is a transcriptional activator expressed during bone development". Mol. Endocrinol. 11 (7): 905–916.  
  9. ^ a b Seely J, Amigh KS, Suzuki T, Mayhew B, Sasano H, Giguere V, Laganière J, Carr BR, Rainey WE (August 2005). "Transcriptional regulation of dehydroepiandrosterone sulfotransferase (SULT2A1) by estrogen-related receptor alpha". Endocrinology. 146 (8): 3605–3613.  
  10. ^ Cheng LC, Pai TW, Li LA. (June 2011). "Regulation of human CYP11B1 and CYP11B2 promoters by transposable elements and conserved cis elements". Steroids. 77 (1–2): 100–109.  
  11. ^ Wu Z, Puigserver P, Andersson U, Zhang C, Adelmant G, Mootha V, Troy A, Cinti S, Lowell B, Scarpulla RC, Spiegelman BM (July 1999). "Mechanisms controlling mitochondrial biogenesis and respiration through the thermogenic coactivator PGC-1". Cell 98 (1): 115–24.  
  12. ^ Yoon JC, Puigserver P, Chen G, Donovan J, Wu Z, Rhee J, Adelmant G, Stafford J, Kahn CR, Granner DK, Newgard CB, Spiegelman BM' (September 2001). "Control of hepatic gluconeogenesis through the transcriptional coactivator PGC-1". Nature 413 (6852): 131–8.  
  13. ^ Mootha VK, Handschin C, Arlow D, Xie X, St Pierre J, Sihag S, Yang W, Altshuler D, Puigserver P, Patterson N, Willy PJ, Schulman IG, Heyman RA, Lander ES, Spiegelman BM (April 2004). "Erralpha and Gabpa/b specify PGC-1alpha-dependent oxidative phosphorylation gene expression that is altered in diabetic muscle". Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 101 (17): 6570–5.  
  14. ^ Huss JM, Torra IP, Staels B, Giguère V, Kelly DP (October 2004). "Estrogen-related receptor alpha directs peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha signaling in the transcriptional control of energy metabolism in cardiac and skeletal muscle". Mol. Cell. Biol. 24 (20): 9079–91.  
  15. ^ a b Dufour CR, Levasseur MP, Pham NH, Eichner LJ, Wilson BJ, Charest-Marcotte A, Duguay D, Poirier-Héon JF, Cermakian N, Giguère V (June 2011). Mangelsdorf, David J, ed. "Genomic convergence among ERRα, PROX1, and BMAL1 in the control of metabolic clock outputs". PLoS Genet. 7 (6): e1002143.  
  16. ^ Luo J, Sladek R, Carrier J, Bader JA, Richard D, Giguère V (November 2003). "Reduced fat mass in mice lacking orphan nuclear receptor estrogen-related receptor alpha". Mol. Cell. Biol. 23 (22): 7947–56.  
  17. ^ Vanacker JM, Bonnelye E, Chopin-Delannoy S, Delmarre C, Cavaillès V, Laudet V (May 1999). "Transcriptional activities of the orphan nuclear receptor ERR alpha (estrogen receptor-related receptor-alpha)". Mol. Endocrinol. 13 (5): 764–73.  
  18. ^ Vanacker JM, Pettersson K, Gustafsson JA, Laudet V (August 1999). "Transcriptional targets shared by estrogen receptor- related receptors (ERRs) and estrogen receptor (ER) alpha, but not by ERbeta". EMBO J. 18 (15): 4270–9.  
  19. ^ Stein RA, McDonnell DP (December 2006). "Estrogen-related receptor alpha as a therapeutic target in cancer". Endocr. Relat. Cancer. 13 Suppl 1: S25–32.  
  20. ^ Kallen J, Schlaeppi JM, Bitsch F, Filipuzzi I, Schilb A, Riou V, Graham A, Strauss A, Geiser M, Fournier B (November 2004). "Evidence for ligand-independent transcriptional activation of the human estrogen-related receptor alpha (ERRalpha): crystal structure of ERRalpha ligand binding domain in complex with peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor coactivator-1alpha". J. Biol. Chem. 279 (47): 49330–7.  
  21. ^ Suetsugi M, Su L, Karlsberg K, Yuan YC, Chen S (November 2003). "Flavone and isoflavone phytoestrogens are agonists of estrogen-related receptors". Mol. Cancer Res. 1 (13): 981–91.  
  22. ^ Busch BB, Stevens WC Jr, Martin R, Ordentlich P, Zhou S, Sapp DW, Horlick RA, Mohan R (November 2004). "Identification of a selective inverse agonist for the orphan nuclear receptor estrogen-related receptor alpha". J. Med. Chem. 47 (23): 5593–6.  

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