Recruitment of Distinct Chromatin-modifying Complexes by Tamoxifen-complexed Estrogen Receptor at Natural Target Gene Promoters in Vivo

Xue Feng Liu, Milan K. Bagchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tamoxifen, a breast cancer therapeutic, is a tissue-selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM), which acts as an antiestrogen in the mammary tissue and displays estrogenic activity in other tissues such as bone and uterus. In order to understand the mechanisms underlying the antiestrogenic effect of this prototype SERM, we performed an analysis of the cofactors that interact with ER complexed with 4-hydroxytamoxifen (OHT) at natural target genes in a human breast tumor cell line MCF-7. Employing chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP), we observed that treatment with OHT rapidly induces the binding of ERα to the E-responsive promoter regions of pS2 and c-myc genes. Promoter-bound OHT-complexed ERa coordinately recruited the components of a multiprotein complex containing the corepressor NCoR, histone deacetylase 3 (HDAC3), and a WD40-repeat protein TBL1. Surprisingly, the OHT-complexed ERα also recruited a chromatin-remodeling NuRD complex in which histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1) is associated with several polypeptides including metastasis-associated protein 1/2 (MTA1/2), and SWI2/SNF2-related ATPase Mi2. Kinetic studies revealed that following OHT addition the recruitment of these HDAC complexes to pS2 or the c-myc promoter occurs in a sequential manner; the NCoR-HDAC3 complex is recruited earlier than the NuRD complex. Serial ChIP experiments indicated that the ER-NCoR-HDAC3 and ER-NuRD complexes are distinct, and they do not occupy the target gene promoter simultaneously. We also established a close temporal link between the appearance of the HDAC complexes at the E-responsive regions of pS2 and c-myc promoters, local hypoacetylation of specific lysine residues in N-terminal tails of histones H3 and H4, and disappearance of RNA polymerase II from the target gene loci. Collectively, our studies indicated that transcriptional repression by tamoxifen-bound ER at E-regulated gene promoters involves a dynamic interplay of multiple distinct chromatin-modifying/remodeling complexes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15050-15058
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number15
StatePublished - Apr 9 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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