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ERβ Binds N-CoR in the Presence of Estrogens via an LXXLL-like Motif in the N-CoR C-terminus

Paul Webb1*, Cathleen Valentine12, Phuong Nguyen1, Richard H Price12, Adhirai Marimuthu1, Brian L West1, John D Baxter1 and Peter J Kushner12

Author Affiliations

1 Metabolic Research Unit and Diabetes Center, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA

2 Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA

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Nuclear Receptor 2003, 1:4  doi:10.1186/1478-1336-1-4

Published: 28 June 2003


Nuclear receptors (NRs) usually bind the corepressors N-CoR and SMRT in the absence of ligand or in the presence of antagonists. Agonist binding leads to corepressor release and recruitment of coactivators. Here, we report that estrogen receptor β (ERβ) binds N-CoR and SMRT in the presence of agonists, but not antagonists, in vitro and in vivo. This ligand preference differs from that of ERα interactions with corepressors, which are inhibited by estradiol, and resembles that of ERβ interactions with coactivators. ERβ /N-CoR interactions involve ERβ AF-2, which also mediates coactivator recognition. Moreover, ERβ recognizes a sequence (PLTIRML) in the N-CoR C-terminus that resembles coactivator LXXLL motifs. Inhibition of histone deacetylase activity specifically potentiates ERβ LBD activity, suggesting that corepressors restrict the activity of AF-2. We conclude that the ER isoforms show completely distinct modes of interaction with a physiologically important corepressor and discuss our results in terms of ER isoform specificity in vivo.