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Estrogen-related receptor alpha: an orphan finds a family

Aleksandra M Ochnik and Douglas Yee*

Author Affiliations

Masonic Cancer Center, Departments of Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Minnesota, MMC 806, 420 Delaware Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

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Breast Cancer Research 2012, 14:309  doi:10.1186/bcr3124

Published: 10 May 2012


Identification of molecules and their effectors has led to new therapies designed to specifically inhibit pathways in molecularly defined breast cancer subtypes. An orphan nuclear receptor, estrogen-related receptor alpha, has been shown to be a downstream target of two tyrosine kinase growth factor receptors: human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 and the type I insulin-like growth factor receptor. Identifying the mechanistic actions of orphan nuclear receptors could lead to new biomarkers and molecular targets in malignancy.