Biological Signaling Pathways of Estrogen

The steroid hormone estrogen is distributed by the blood in a mostly bound fashion to high-affinity plasma proteins, like sex hormone-binding globulin and corticosteroid-binding globulin, or low affinity, low specificity proteins like albumin and orosomucoid [3,4]. However, the concentration of unbound estrogen is important, as only "free" estrogen is able to trigger an effect at the target tissue, i.e., tissue characterized by the presence of cytoplasmic and/or nuclear estrogen receptors (ERs). The way estrogens and estrogen-like compounds are believed to exert their influence on these target cells is described below.

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