Circulating estrogens levels significantly decrease in menopause and levels off in postmenopausal women. Accordingly, the liver represses levels of enzymes and membrane transporters, thereby decreasing capability of inactivating and excreting estrogens. Women increasingly develop type 2 diabetes during or after menopause. Estrogens are known to promote liver diseases in these women. Here, we have found that the estrogen inactivating sulfotransferase (SULT1E1) and an efflux transporter ATP-binding cassette subfamily G member 2 (ABCG2) that exports sulfated estrogens increased their expression levels in diabetic women but not men. For the sulfotransferase gene, phosphorylated nuclear receptors ERα and RORα, at Ser212 and Ser100, respectively, bind their response elements to activate the SULT1E1 promoter in women. This coordinated increase in estrogen inactivation and excretion, and the phosphorylated nuclear receptor-mediated gene activation could be a defense mechanism against toxicities of estrogens through inactivation and excretion in the livers of women.
Published by Elsevier Inc.