The estrogen receptor alpha (ER), a member of the steroid receptor superfamily, contains an N-terminal hormone-independent transcriptional activation function (AF-1) and a C-terminal hormone-dependent transcriptional activation function (AF-2). Here, we used in-gel kinase assays to determine that pp90rsk1 activated by either epidermal growth factor (EGF) or phorbol myristate acetate specifically phosphorylates Ser-167 within AF-1. In vitro kinase assays demonstrated that pp90rsk1 phosphorylates the N terminus of the wild-type ER but not of a mutant ER in which Ser-167 was replaced by Ala. In vivo, EGF stimulated phosphorylation of Ser-167 as well as Ser-118. Ectopic expression of active pp90rsk1 increased the level of phosphorylation of Ser-167 compared to that of either a mutant pp90rsk1, which is catalytically inactive in the N-terminal kinase domain, or to that of vector control. The ER formed a stable complex with the mutant pp90rsk1 in vivo. Transfection of the mutant pp90rsk1 depressed ER-dependent transcription of both a wild-type ER and a mutant ER that had a defective AF-2 domain (ER TAF-1). Furthermore, replacing either Ser-118 or Ser-167 with Ala in ER TAF-1 showed similar decreases in transcription levels. A double mutant in which both Ser-118 and Ser-167 were replaced with Ala demonstrated a further decrease in transcription compared to either of the single mutations. Taken together, our results strongly suggest that pp90rsk1 phosphorylates Ser-167 of the human ER in vivo and that Ser-167 aids in regulating the transcriptional activity of AF-1 in the ER.
SciCrunch is a data sharing and display platform. Anyone can create a custom portal where they can select searchable subsets of hundreds of data sources, brand their web pages and create their community. SciCrunch will push data updates automatically to all portals on a weekly basis. User communities can also add their own data to scicrunch, however this is not currently a free service.