Crystal structure of hERa-LBD (wt) in complex with bisphenol-C

Experimental Data Snapshot

  • Resolution: 2.10 Å
  • R-Value Free: 0.255 
  • R-Value Work: 0.214 
  • R-Value Observed: 0.216 

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Structural and mechanistic insights into bisphenols action provide guidelines for risk assessment and discovery of bisphenol A substitutes.

Delfosse, V.Grimaldi, M.Pons, J.L.Boulahtouf, A.le Maire, A.Cavailles, V.Labesse, G.Bourguet, W.Balaguer, P.

(2012) Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 109: 14930-14935

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1203574109
  • Primary Citation of Related Structures:  
    3UU7, 3UUA, 3UUC, 3UUD

  • PubMed Abstract: 

    Bisphenol A (BPA) is an industrial compound and a well known endocrine-disrupting chemical with estrogenic activity. The widespread exposure of individuals to BPA is suspected to affect a variety of physiological functions, including reproduction, development, and metabolism. Here we report that the mechanisms by which BPA and two congeners, bisphenol AF and bisphenol C (BPC), bind to and activate estrogen receptors (ER) α and β differ from that used by 17β-estradiol. We show that bisphenols act as partial agonists of ERs by activating the N-terminal activation function 1 regardless of their effect on the C-terminal activation function 2, which ranges from weak agonism (with BPA) to antagonism (with BPC). Crystallographic analysis of the interaction between bisphenols and ERs reveals two discrete binding modes, reflecting the different activities of compounds on ERs. BPA and 17β-estradiol bind to ERs in a similar fashion, whereas, with a phenol ring pointing toward the activation helix H12, the orientation of BPC accounts for the marked antagonist character of this compound. Based on structural data, we developed a protocol for in silico evaluation of the interaction between bisphenols and ERs or other members of the nuclear hormone receptor family, such as estrogen-related receptor γ and androgen receptor, which are two known main targets of bisphenols. Overall, this study provides a wealth of tools and information that could be used for the development of BPA substitutes devoid of nuclear hormone receptor-mediated activity and more generally for environmental risk assessment.

  • Organizational Affiliation

    Centre de Biochimie Structurale, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale U1054, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Unité Mixte de Recherche 5048, Université Montpellier 1, 34090 Montpellier, France.

Find similar proteins by:  (by identity cutoff)  |  3D Structure
Entity ID: 1
MoleculeChains Sequence LengthOrganismDetailsImage
Estrogen receptor
A, B, C, D
251Homo sapiensMutation(s): 0 
Gene Names: ESR1ESRNR3A1
UniProt & NIH Common Fund Data Resources
Find proteins for P03372 (Homo sapiens)
Explore P03372 
Go to UniProtKB:  P03372
PHAROS:  P03372
GTEx:  ENSG00000091831 
Entity Groups  
Sequence Clusters30% Identity50% Identity70% Identity90% Identity95% Identity100% Identity
UniProt GroupP03372
Sequence Annotations
  • Reference Sequence
Small Molecules
Experimental Data & Validation

Experimental Data

  • Resolution: 2.10 Å
  • R-Value Free: 0.255 
  • R-Value Work: 0.214 
  • R-Value Observed: 0.216 
  • Space Group: P 1
Unit Cell:
Length ( Å )Angle ( ˚ )
a = 53.53α = 75.64
b = 58.64β = 74.77
c = 93.02γ = 62.82
Software Package:
Software NamePurpose
MxCuBEdata collection
PHENIXmodel building
XDSdata reduction
XSCALEdata scaling

Structure Validation

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Ligand Structure Quality Assessment 

Entry History 

Deposition Data

Revision History  (Full details and data files)

  • Version 1.0: 2012-08-22
    Type: Initial release
  • Version 1.1: 2012-09-26
    Changes: Database references
  • Version 1.2: 2023-09-13
    Changes: Data collection, Database references, Derived calculations, Refinement description
  • Version 1.3: 2023-12-06
    Changes: Data collection