A Three-tiered Approach for Calibration of a Biosensor to Detect Estrogen Mimics
A three-tiered approach was developed to determine the influence of a chemically-diverse group of compounds exhibiting estrogen mimicry using recombinant human estrogen receptor (rhER) activity to calibrate a receptor protein-based biosensor. In the initial tier, a ligand competition array was developed to evaluate compounds inhibiting [3H]estradiol-17β binding to rhER. Each of six different concentrations of [3H]estradiol-17β was mixed with increasing concentrations of an unlabeled putative mimic. Each of these mixtures was incubated with a constant amount of rhERα and then receptorbound [[3H]estradiol-17β was measured. This array protocol analyzes ligand binding affinities of hERα with a potential inhibitor over the entire range of receptor protein saturation.
When either hERα or hERβ binds to an estrogenic ligand, the receptor monomer forms both homo- and hetero-dimers. Then the ligand-receptor dimer complex activates transcription by associating with an estrogen response element (ERE), which is a specific DNA sequence located upstream of estrogenresponsive genes. The second tier for ligand evaluation utilized an electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA), which was performed with an ERE sequence labeled with [αP]dATP and incubated with rhER in the presence or absence of unlabeled ligand. ERE-hER complexes were separated by electrophoresis and analyzed using phosphor imaging technology.
To assess biological effects of an estrogen mimic on expression of an ER-target gene, a yeast cell-based bioassay was constructed with recombinant DNA technology using Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Each of these engineered yeast cells contained a rhERα expression plasmid (YEpE12) and a separate reporter plasmid (YRG2) containing an ERE sequence upstream of a β-galactosidase reporter gene. Incubation of these yeast cells with an estrogenic compound allows formation of ligand-hERα complexes, which recognize the ERE sequence regulating β-galactosidase expression. Estrogenic compounds, which were evaluated as calibrators for ligand-based and EREbased biosensors, elicit varying responses in each of the three tiers of the protocol.
KeywordsEstrogenic Compound Estrogen Response Element Human Estrogen Receptor Competition Curve Estrogen Mimic
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