Genomic and non-genomic actions of estrogen: recent developments

Kotaro Azuma 1  and Satoshi Inoue
  • 1 Department of Geriatric Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-8655, Japan
  • 2 Department of Anti-Aging Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-8655, Japan
  • 3 Division of Gene Regulation and Signal Transduction, Research Center for Genomic Medicine, Saitama Medical School, Saitama 350-1241, Japan


Estrogen affects transcriptional status by activating its corresponding nuclear receptor, the estrogen receptor (ER). It can also induce rapid cellular reactions within a few minutes, and this feature cannot be explained by the transcription-mediated effects of estrogen. The latter mechanisms are called ‘non-genomic actions’ of estrogen. In contrast, the former classic modes of action came to be called ‘genomic actions’. One of the recent developments of research on estrogen was the substantiation of the non-genomic actions of estrogen; these were initially observed and reported as intriguing phenomena more than 40 years ago. The interacting molecules as well as the biological significance of non-genomic actions have now been shown. In the field of genomic actions, invention and spread of new technologies, including high-throughput sequencers, promoted a comprehensive view of estrogen-mediated transcriptional regulation.

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BioMolecular Concepts is a peer-reviewed journal fostering the integration of different fields of biomolecular research. The journal provides expert summaries and conclusive extensions of research data leading to new and original, testable hypotheses. Aspects of research that can promote related fields and lead to novel insight into biological mechanisms are of special interest.