Sequence to structure approach of estrogen receptor alpha and ligand interactions

Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2015;16(6):2161-6. doi: 10.7314/apjcp.2015.16.6.2161.


Estrogen receptors (ERs) are steroid receptors located in the cytoplasm and on the nuclear membrane. The sequence similarities of human ERα, mouse ERα, rat ERα, dog ERα, and cat ERα are above 90%, but structures of ERα may different among species. Estrogen can be agonist and antagonist depending on its target organs. This hormone play roles in several diseases including breast cancer. There are variety of the relative binding affinity (RBA) of ER and estrogen species in comparison to 17β-estradiol (E2), which is a natural ligand of both ERα and ERβ. The RBA of the estrogen species are as following: diethyl stilbestrol (DES)>hexestrol>dienestrol>17β-estradiol (E2)>17-estradiol>moxestrol>estriol (E3)>4-OH estradiol>estrone-3-sulfate. Estrogen mimetic drugs, selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs), have been used as hormonal therapy for ER positive breast cancer and postmenopausal osteoporosis. In the postgenomic era, in silico models have become effective tools for modern drug discovery. These provide three dimensional structures of many transmembrane receptors and enzymes, which are important targets of de novo drug development. The estimated inhibition constants (Ki) from computational model have been used as a screening procedure before in vitro and in vivo studies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Dogs
  • Estrogen Receptor alpha / chemistry*
  • Estrogen Receptor alpha / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Mice
  • Protein Conformation*
  • Rats
  • Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators / metabolism*


  • Estrogen Receptor alpha
  • Ligands
  • Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators