Estrogen and thyroid hormone interaction on regulation of gene expression
Estrogen receptor (ER) and thyroid hormone receptors (TRs) are ligand-dependent nuclear transcription factors that can bind to an identical half-site, AGGTCA, of their cognate hormone response elements. By in vitro transfection analysis in CV-1 cells, we show that estrogen induction of chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) activity in a construct containing a CAT reporter gene under the control of a minimal thymidine kinase (tk) promoter and a copy of the consensus ER response element was attenuated by cotransfection of TR alpha 1 plus triiodothyronine treatment. This inhibitory effect of TR was ligand-dependent and isoform-specific. Neither TR beta 1 nor TR beta 2 cotransfection inhibited estrogen-induced CAT activity, although both TR alpha and TR beta can bind to a consensus ER response element. Furthermore, cotransfection of a mutated TR alpha 1 that lacks binding to the AGGTCA sequence also inhibited the estrogen effect. Thus, the repression of estrogen action by liganded TR alpha 1 may involve protein-protein interactions although competition of ER and TR at the DNA level cannot be excluded. A similar inhibitory effect of liganded TR alpha 1 on estrogen induction of CAT activity was observed in a construct containing the preproenkephalin (PPE) promoter. A study in hypophysectomized female rats demonstrated that the estrogen-induced increase in PPE mRNA levels in the ventromedial hypothalamus was diminished by coadministration of triiodothyronine. These results suggest that ER and TR may interact to modulate estrogen-sensitive gene expression, such as for PPE, in the hypothalamus.