Phytoestrogen-Induced Phosphorylation of MAP Kinase in Osteoblasts is Mediated by Membrane Estrogen Receptor

  • Park, Youn-Hee (Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University) ;
  • Park, Hwan-Ki (Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University) ;
  • Lee, Hyo-Jin (Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University) ;
  • Park, Sun-Mu (Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University) ;
  • Choi, Sang-Won (Department of Food Science and Nutrition, Catholic University of Daegu) ;
  • Lee, Won-Jung (Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University)
  • Published : 2002.06.21


We have previously demonstrated that phytoestrogens isolated from safflower seeds significantly attenuated bone loss in ovariectomized rats, and directly stimulated proliferation and differentiation of cultured osteoblastic cells. In an attempt to elucidate underlying cellular mechanisms, in the present study we investigated effects of $17{\beta}-estradiol\;(E_2)$ and phytoestrogens such as matairesinol and acacetin, a type of lignan and flavonoid, respectively, on activation of mitogen activated protein (MAP) kinases, extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 (ERK1) and ERK2, in cultured osteoblastic ROS 17/2.8 cells. Western blot analysis with anti-MAP kinase antibody showed that a wide range concentrations $(10^{-14}\;to\;10^{-6}\;M)\;of\;E_2$ as well as both phytoestrogens induced rapid and transient activation of ERK1/2 through phosphorylation within minutes. Maximum activation of MAP kinases by $E_2$ and phytoestrogens were observed at 10 and 15 min, respectively. $E_2-induced$ phosphorylation of ERK1/2 returned to the control level at 30 min, whereas phytoestrogen-induced phosphorylation was maintained at high level until 30 min. PD-98059, a highly selective inhibitor of MAP kinase, prevented phosphorylation of ERK1/2 in the cells treated either with $E_2$ or phytoestrogens. To examine a possible involvement of estrogen receptor in the activation process of MAP kinase, Western blot analysis was performed in the presence and absence of the estrogen receptor antagonists, ICI 182,780 and tamoxifen. These antagonists blocked MAP kinase phosphorylation induced not only by $E_2,$ but also by the phytoestrogens. To the best our knowledge, this study is the first to demonstrate that phytoestrogens such as flavonoid and lignan extracted from safflower seeds produce a rapid activation of MAP kinase, at least partially via membrane estrogen receptor of the cultured osteoblastic cells.


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