Regulation of estrogen receptor beta activity and implications in health and disease

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2009 Dec;66(24):3873-94. doi: 10.1007/s00018-009-0118-z.


Together with the estrogen receptor (ER) alpha, estrogen receptor beta (ER beta ) mediates many of the physiological effects of estrogens. As ER beta is crucially involved in a variety of important physiological processes, its activity should be tightly regulated. ER beta regulation is achieved by hormone binding as well as by posttranslational modifications of the receptor. Furthermore, ER beta expression levels are under circadian control and can be regulated by DNA methylation of the ER beta promoter region. There are also a number of factors that can interfere with ER beta activity, such as phytoestrogens, endocrine disruptive chemicals, and growth factors. In this article, we outline different mechanisms of ER beta regulation and how they are implicated in various diseases. We also discuss how these insights might help to specifically target ER beta in drug design.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alternative Splicing
  • DNA Methylation
  • Estrogen Receptor beta / genetics*
  • Estrogen Receptor beta / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Neoplasms / genetics
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Phytoestrogens / metabolism
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational


  • Estrogen Receptor beta
  • Phytoestrogens