Rapid modulation of aromatase activity in the vertebrate brain. - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Journal of experimental neuroscience Year : 2012

Rapid modulation of aromatase activity in the vertebrate brain.


Numerous steroid hormones, including 17β-estradiol (E2), activate rapid and transient cellular, physiological, and behavioral changes in addition to their well-described genomic effects. Aromatase is the key-limiting enzyme in the production of estrogens, and the rapid modulation of this enzymatic activity could produce rapid changes in local E2 concentrations. The mechanisms that might mediate such rapid enzymatic changes are not fully understood but are currently under intense scrutiny. Recent studies in our laboratory indicate that brain aromatase activity is rapidly inhibited by an increase in intracellular calcium concentration resulting from potassium-induced depolarization or from the activation of glutamatergic receptors. Phosphorylating conditions also reduce aromatase activity within minutes, and this inhibition is blocked by the addition of multiple protein kinase inhibitors. This rapid modulation of aromatase activity by phosphorylating conditions is a general mechanism observed in different cell types and tissues derived from a variety of species, including human aromatase expressed in various cell lines. Phosphorylation processes affect aromatase itself and do not involve changes in aromatase protein concentration. The control of aromatase activity by multiple kinases suggests that several amino acids must be concomitantly phosphorylated to modify enzymatic activity but site-directed mutagenesis of several amino acids alone or in combination has not to date revealed the identity of the targeted residue(s). Altogether, the phosphorylation processes affecting aromatase activity provide a new general mechanism by which the concentration of estrogens can be rapidly altered in the brain.

Dates and versions

hal-01122068 , version 1 (03-03-2015)



Thierry D Charlier, Charlotte A Cornil, Jacques Balthazart. Rapid modulation of aromatase activity in the vertebrate brain.. Journal of experimental neuroscience, 2012, 7, pp.31-7. ⟨10.4137/JEN.S11268⟩. ⟨hal-01122068⟩
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