Unoccupied binding sites for oestrogen in nuclei of a breast tumour cell line (MCF-7)

A. Geier, M. Haimsohn, Z. Malik, B. Lunenfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


A method to measure both occupied and unoccupied oestrogen receptors directly in the crude nuclear fraction of the MCF-7 cells was developed. The receptors had high affinity for oestradiol (K(d) approx. 0.7 nM) and binding specificity characteristics of oestrogen receptors. A substantial amount of the unoccupied receptors were found in the crude nuclear fraction. Several experiments excluded the possibility that the unoccupied nuclear receptor might be a cytoplasmic contaminant. Multiple extractions with Tris buffer released about 75% of the total receptor content, leaving the rest unextractable in the crude nuclear fraction. Nuclei purified by centrifugation through 1.8 M-sucrose and treatment with 0.7% Triton X-100, or by centrifugation through 50% glycerol with 0.1% Triton X-100 contained similar amounts of unoccupied receptors to that found in the crude nuclear fraction. In cells cultured during 5 days after preconfluency a 3-fold increase in the amount of unoccupied cytoplasmic receptors occurred, whereas the amount of unoccupied nuclear receptors did not change significantly and conversely in cells exposed to increasing concentrations of oestradiol the unoccupied cytoplasmic receptor was continuously depleted but no considerable change in the unoccupied nuclear receptor was found.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)515-520
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1981
Externally publishedYes


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