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Estrogen-Related Receptors as Emerging Targets in Cancer and Metabolic Disorders

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While estrogen receptor (ER)-targeted therapeutics have clearly been a success in the treatment of breast cancer, the orphan estrogen-related receptors (ERRs) represent novel targets for future development. The ERRs, comprising ERRα, ERRβb and ERRγ, bind and regulate transcription via estrogen response elements (EREs) and extended ERE half-sites termed ERR response elements (ERREs), but do not bind endogenous estrogens. The emerging role of ERRα and ERRγ in modulating estrogen responsiveness, substituting for ER activities, and serving as prognosticators in breast and other cancers is providing an impetus for the identification of compounds which target these proteins. Moreover, ERRα plays a role in energy homeostasis and will likely be targeted for the treatment of metabolic disorders. Multiple classes of synthetic ligands have already been identified. The phytoestrogens genistein, daidzein, biochanin A and 6,3'4'-tryhydroxyflavone have been reported as ERRa agonists. The phenolic acyl hydrazones GSK4716 and GSK9089 act as selective agonists of ERRβ and ERRγ. The organochlorine pesticides toxaphene and chlordane, and the synthetic compound XCT790 antagonize ERRα. The synthetic estrogen diethylstilbestrol antagonizes all three ERRs. The selective estrogen receptor modulators 4-hydroxytamoxifen and 4-hydroxytoremifene antagonize ERRγ. The rational development of synthetic ligands for the ERRs may soon provide new agents to supplement the repertoire of antihormonal therapies to combat breast cancer. Moreover, expression of ERRs in other cancers and metabolic disorders may provide a targeted treatment strategy for these patients as well.
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Keywords: Estrogen-related receptor; breast cancer; energy homeostasis; estrogen responsiveness; ovarian cancer

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Fox Chase Cancer Center, 333 Cottman Avenue; Philadelphia, PA 19111-2497 USA.

Publication date: February 1, 2006

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