Chemical Probes of Estrogen Action: Affinity Labeling

J. A. Katzenellenbogen, K. E. Carlson, H. J. Johnson, H. N. Myers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A systemic approach has been taken in the preparation and evaluation of photoaffinity labeling agents for the estrogen receptor from rat and lamb uterus. Several derivatives of estradiol and the nonsteroidal estrogen, hexestrol, containing photoreactive diazocarbonyl or azide functions have been synthesized. The receptor binding affinity of these compounds and their capacity to photointeract with the estrogen binding site (inactivate) can be assayed indirectly by competition assays. Several of the compounds that showed both reasonably high binding affinities and inactivation efficiencies have been prepared in high specific activity, tritium labeled form. Direct binding measurements with these derivatives in unpurified rat uterine receptor preparations, show that while these compounds bind to the receptor, they also show considerable nonspecific binding to nonreceptor proteins. Irradiation of these derivatives in rat uterine cytosol preparations results in incorporation of large amounts of radioactivity into protein in a covalent fashion. The amount of nonspecific labeling is so large, however, that estrogen site specificity (indicated by protection with unlabeled estradiol) cannot be demonstrated. More recently, the authors have used a partially purified receptor preparation from lamb uterus. The receptor in this preparation has been disaggregated by mild trypsinization and can be electrophoresed in native form. Electrophoretic analysis of the proteins in photolabeled preparations show some covalent incorporation into the receptor region of the gel with one derivative but not with another. The effectiveness of the photoaffinity labeling reagents prepared thus far is assessed, and suggestions are made for the design of new, more effective reagents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-230
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Toxicology and Environmental Health
Issue numbersup.1
StatePublished - 1976

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Pollution


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