Epigenetics of estrogen receptor signaling: Role in hormonal cancer progression and therapy

Monica Mann, Valerie Cortez, Ratna K. Vadlamudi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Estrogen receptor (ERα) signaling plays a key role in hormonal cancer progression. ERα is a ligand-dependent transcription factor that modulates gene transcription via recruitment to the target gene chromatin. Emerging evidence suggests that ERα signaling has the potential to contribute to epigenetic changes. Estrogen stimulation is shown to induce several histone modifications at the ERα target gene promoters including acetylation, phosphorylation and methylation via dynamic interactions with histone modifying enzymes. Deregulation of enzymes involved in the ERα-mediated epigenetic pathway could play a vital role in ERα driven neoplastic processes. Unlike genetic alterations, epigenetic changes are reversible, and hence offer novel therapeutic opportunities to reverse ERα driven epigenetic changes. In this review, we summarize current knowledge on mechanisms by which ERα signaling potentiates epigenetic changes in cancer cells via histone modifications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1691-1707
Number of pages17
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • Breast cancer
  • Epigenetics
  • Estrogen receptor
  • Histone modifications
  • Hormonal cancers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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