The estrogenic and antiestrogenic activities of phytochemicals with the human estrogen receptor expressed in yeast.


Collins BM, McLachlan JA, Arnold SF






We have used the expression of the human estrogen receptor (hER) and two estrogen response elements linked to the lacZ gene in yeast (YES) to study the estrogenic and antiestrogenic activities of various phytochemicals. Coumestrol, alpha-zearalenol, or genistein could produce beta-galactosidase activity comparable to estradiol, but these required concentrations 100 to 1000-fold greater than estradiol. These compounds did not possess antiestrogenic activity. Narigenin, kaempferide, phloretin, biochanin A, flavone, or chrysin only partially induced beta-galactosidase activity in the YES at any concentration tested. When narigenin, kaempferide, or phloretin was given concurrently with estradiol, the estradiol-dependent beta- galactosidase activity was not inhibited by more than 50%. However, biochanin A, flavone, or chrysin could inhibit the activity of estradiol in a dose-response manner with IC50 values of 500 nM, 2 microM, and 10 microM, respectively. Combinations of biochanin A, chrysin, and flavone decreased estradiol-dependent beta-galactosidase activity in an additive fashion. Similar to the antiestrogens tamoxifen or ICI 182, 780, the antiestrogenic activity of these compounds with the exception of chrystin involved the disruption of hER dimerization, as demonstrated in the yeast two-hybrid system. Biochanin A, chrysin, or flavone were less effective in inhibiting the activity of an estrogenic polychlorinated biphenyl than they were inhibiting the activity of estradiol. Interestingly, this latter group of antiestrogenic phytocompounds did not inhibit the estrogenic activity of such phytochemicals as coumestrol or genistein. These results suggest that the antiestrogenic activity of biochanin A and flavone occurs by a mechanism similar to tamoxifen or ICI 182,780. Moreover, it seems that phytochemicals functioning as antiestrogens do not inhibit the activity of all estrogenic chemicals to the same extent. This suggests that conformational changes induced by different estrogens bound to the hER may regulate the antiestrogenic activity of a compound. Loukovaara M Carson M Palotie A Adlercreutz H Regulation of sex hormone-binding globulin production by isoflavonoids and patterns of isoflavonoid conjugation in HepG2 cell cultures. In: Steroids (1995 Sep) 60(9):656-61 ISSN: 0039-128X The effect of the isoflavonoid phytoestrogens daidzein, equol, and genistein on sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) levels, SHBG mRNA transcript levels, and SHBG gene methylation was studied in HepG2 cell cultures by fluoroimmunometric SHBG assay and Northern and Southern hybridizations, respectively. The effect of 17 beta- estradiol on these parameters was studied as a control. The metabolism of isoflavonoids in HepG2 cells was determined by isotope dilution gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, after ion-exchange chromatography. Daidzein and equol increased SHBG levels in parallel intracellularly and extracellularly, whereas genistein increased SHBG levels only within the cells, resembling thus the effect of 17 beta- estradiol. The difference may originate from the fact that genistein has more hydroxyl groups than daidzein and equol. The regulation of SHBG production by phytoestrogens appears to occur at the post- transcriptional level. Firstly, daidzein, equol, or genistein did not have a clear effect on the steady-state SHBG mRNA levels. Secondly, no effect on SHBG gene methylation was observed by genistein. The findings applied also to 17 beta-estradiol. However, as the SHBG gene was more methylated in SHBG-negative MCF-7 cells than in SHBG- positive HepG2 cells, DNA methylation may play a role in the tissue- specific activation of this gene. The metabolism of isoflavonoids in HepG2 cells yielded mainly unconjugated and sulfated compounds. Similar metabolism in hepatocytes in vivo might retain their biological activity in tissues responsive to estrogens.