Environmental or nutritional estrogenic toxicants are thought to mediate developmental and carcinogenic pathologies. Estrogen receptor (ER) measurements are currently used to predict hormonal responsiveness; therefore all ER subpopulations should be considered. We have been involved in the immunoidentification and characterization of membrane steroid receptors in several systems and have recently shown that binding of estradiol (E2) to a subpopulation of ERs (mER) residing in the plasma membrane of GH3 pituitary tumor cells mediates the rapid release of prolactin (PRL). Here we review these findings and present other important characterizations of these receptors such as trypsin and serum susceptibility, movement in the membrane, confocal localization to the membrane, binding to and function of impeded ligands, and immunoseparation of cells bearing mER. We plan to use this system as a model for both the physiological and pathological nongenomic effects of estrogens and estrogenic xenobiotics. Specifically, it should be useful as an in vitro assay system for the ability of estrogenic xenobiotics to cause rapid PRL release as an example of nongenomic estrogen effects.
- Plasma membrane
- Steroid receptor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis