The nutritional flavanone naringenin triggers antiestrogenic effects by regulating estrogen receptor α-palmitoylation

Paola Galluzzo, Paolo Ascenzi, Pamela Bulzomi, Maria Marino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Naringenin (Nar) is a component of fruits and vegetables associated with healthful benefits, such as in osteoporosis, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases. These protective effects have been linked with Nar antiestrogenic as well as estrogenic activities. Previous studies indicate that Nar impaired estrogen receptor (ER) α signaling by interfering with ERα-mediated activation of ERK and phosphoinositide 3-kinase signaling pathways in the absence of effects at the transcriptional level. The present studies evaluated the hypothesis that these Nar antagonistic effects occur at the level of the plasma membrane. Our results indicate that Nar induces EŔ depalmitoylation faster than 17β-estradiol, which results in receptor rapid dissociation from caveolin-1. Furthermore, Nar impedes ERα to bind adaptor (modulator of nongenomic actions of the ER) and signaling (c-Src) proteins involved in the activation of the mitogenic signaling cascades (i.e. ERK and phosphoinositide 3-kinase). On the other hand, Nar induces the ER-dependent, but palmitoylation-independent, activation of p38 kinase, which in turn is responsible for Nar-mediated antiproliferative effects in cancer cells. Altogether, these data highlight new ER-dependent mechanisms on the root of antiproliferative and antiestrogenic effects of Nar. Moreover, the different modulation of ERα palmitoylation exerted by different ligands represents a pivotal mechanism that drives cancer cell to proliferation or apoptosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2567-2575
Number of pages9
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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