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Estrogen receptor beta (ERβ) in testicular cells and sperm
Dostálová, Pavla ; Žatecká, Eva ; Děd, Lukáš ; Dorosh, Andriy ; Postlerová, Pavla ; Jonáková, Věra ; Dvořáková-Hortová, Kateřina ; Pěknicová, Jana
Estrogen is a steroid hormone that plays an important role during sperm development in the male and female reproductive tract. Estrogen signalling is a complex process that depends on cell milieu and presence of receptors. Thanks to the steroid nature of estrogens, they can pass through the plasmatic membrane and bind to the intracellular estrogen receptors (ERs). Within the cell, there are several pools of ERs. One of them is localized to the cell nucleus and their activation leads to direct or indirect binding to DNA and ultimately to alternation in gene expression (genomic pathway). Other pools of ERs are associated with plasma membrane or are located in cytosol. Activation of membrane associated ERs leads to rapid non-genomic responses. Nowadays, two classical estrogen receptors are known – ERα and ERβ. Since ERβ is a predominant variant in testes, we focused our study on expression of ERβ variants in murine testes and sperm. We detected two variants of ERβ at mRNA level in both, testes and sperm. These variants differ in 54 nucleotids within the ligand binding domain and this variability results in different affinity to estrogen. We analyzed individual testicular cell types (spermatogonia, spermatocytes, spermatids, Sertoli cells) by RT-qPCR. Our results suggest that both ERβ variants are coexpressed in the same cell type and may therefore interact together. This may have consequences in mediating of estrogen signalling. Moreover, ERβ is expressed more in the later stages of spermatogenesis suggesting the role of ERβ in these stages or alternatively in spermatozoa alone. At the protein level, we detected ERβ in nuclear, membrane and cytosolic fraction prepared from testicular tissue suggesting the involvement of both, genomic and non-genomic, pathways of estrogen signaling in testes. In sperm, anti-ERβ antibodies localized ERβ in acrosome region and tail which is in accordance with the known role of estrogen on capacitation, acrosome reaction and motility.