Molecular aspects of phytoestrogen selective binding at estrogen receptors

J Pharm Sci. 2007 Aug;96(8):1879-85. doi: 10.1002/jps.20987.


Phytoestrogens are a diverse group of plant-derived compounds that structurally or functionally mimic mammalian estrogens and show potential benefits for human health. An increase in phytoestrogen research over the past few decades has demonstrated the biological complexity of phytoestrogens, which belong to several different chemical classes and act through diverse mechanisms. Identification of the estrogen receptor beta (ERbeta) and research into various ligand classes has enabled elucidation of molecular aspects important in selective ER binding. This article explores the structural characteristics and significance of functional groups as they relate to phytoestrogen selectivity for ER binding.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Molecular Structure
  • Phytoestrogens / chemistry
  • Phytoestrogens / classification
  • Phytoestrogens / therapeutic use*
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Preparations / adverse effects
  • Plant Preparations / chemistry
  • Plant Preparations / pharmacology
  • Plant Preparations / therapeutic use*
  • Receptors, Estrogen / agonists
  • Receptors, Estrogen / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Receptors, Estrogen / chemistry
  • Receptors, Estrogen / metabolism*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Ligands
  • Phytoestrogens
  • Plant Preparations
  • Receptors, Estrogen