Estrogen receptor α and Sp1 regulate progesterone receptor gene expression

Jennifer R. Schultz, Larry N. Petz, Ann M. Nardulli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The progesterone receptor (PR) gene is induced by estrogen in reproductive and mammary tissues and in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells even though the human PR gene lacks an estrogen response element. We have identified a region from -80 to -34 in the PR gene that contains two Sp1 sites and confers estrogen responsiveness to a heterologous promoter in an estrogen and estrogen receptorα (ERα)-dependent manner. Sp1 present in MCF-7 nuclear extracts and purified Sp1 bind to and protect both Sp1 sites from DNase I cleavage, but the proximal Sp1 site is preferentially protected. Mutation of either Sp1 site decreases Sp1-DNA complex formation and ERα-mediated transactivation. ERα enhances Sp1 binding, but does not interact directly with the -80/-34 region. Our studies suggest that ERα confers estrogen responsiveness to the PR gene by enhancing Sp1 interaction with the Sp1 site in the -80/-34 region of the human PR gene.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-175
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Mar 28 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Estrogen receptor
  • Progesterone receptor
  • Sp1
  • Transcription

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology


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