Encyclopedia of Cancer

Living Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab


  • Jose RussoEmail author
  • Irma H. Russo
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_2011-2


E2 (estradiol) or estradiol-17β is biologically the most active estrogen, and circulating estrogens are mainly originated from ovarian steroidogenesis in premenopausal women and peripheral aromatization of ovarian and adrenal androgens in postmenopausal women.


Mechanism of Action

It is generally accepted that the biological activities of estrogens are mediated by nuclear estrogen receptors (ER) which, upon activation by cognate ligands, form homodimers with another ER–ligand complex and activate the transcription of specific genes containing the estrogen response elements (ERE). According to this classical model, the biological responses to estrogens are mediated by either of the two estrogen receptors, ERα and ERβ. The presence of ERα in target tissues or cells is essential to their responsiveness to estrogen action. The expression levels of ERα in a particular tissue have been used as an index of the degree of estrogen responsiveness. For example, human brea...


Adrenal Androgen Mammographic Breast Density Centrosome Duplication Ovarian Steroidogenesis Catechol Estrogen 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Breast Cancer Research LaboratoryFox Chase Cancer CenterPhiladelphiaUSA