17β-Estradiol (E2), as the main circulating estrogen hormone, regulates many tissue and organ functions in physiology. The effects of E2 on cells are mediated by the transcription factors and estrogen receptor (ER)α and ERβ that are encoded by distinct genes. Localized at the peri-membrane, mitochondria, and the nucleus of cells that are dependent on estrogen target tissues, the ERs share similar, as well as distinct, regulatory potentials. Different intracellular localizations of the ERs result in dynamically integrated and finely tuned E2 signaling cascades that orchestrate cellular growth, differentiation, and death. The deregulation of E2-ER signaling plays a critical role in the initiation and progression of target tissue malignancies. A better understanding of the complex regulatory mechanisms that underlie ER actions in response to E2 therefore holds a critical trajectory for the development of novel prognostic and therapeutic approaches with substantial impacts on the systemic management of target tissue diseases.
Keywords: estrogen; estrogen receptor; molecular mechanism; signaling; structure.