The ESR2 AluI gene polymorphism is associated with bone mineral density in postmenopausal women

Monica Currò, Herbert Marini, Angela Alibrandi, Nadia Ferlazzo, Salvatore Condello, Francesca Polito, Elena B. Adamo, Marco Atteritano, Rosario D'Anna, Domenica Altavilla, Alessandra Bitto, Francesco Squadrito, Riccardo Ientile, Daniela Caccamo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Multiple factors may contribute to the pathogenesis of postmenopausal osteoporosis including environmental, life-style and genetic factors. Common variants in ESR2 gene encoding for ER-beta, highly expressed in bone tissue, have recently been proposed as candidates for affecting bone phenotype at the population level, particularly in postmenopausal women. In this study, we examined the genetic background at ESR2 AluI (rs4986938, 1730G>A) locus in 89 osteopenic, postmenopausal women (age range 49-56 years) together with BMD at lumbar spine and femoral neck sites as well as variations in plasma levels of bone metabolism and turnover markers. Genotyping for ESR2 G1730A polymorphism showed that the frequency of A mutated allele accounted for 0.4 in our cohort of postmenopausal women; moreover, the GA1730 heterozygous individuals were the most represented (50.6%) compared with GG (37.8%) and AA homozygous ones (14.6%). A regression analysis showed that lumbar spine BMD values were significantly associated with both ESR2 AA1730 genotype (p = 0.044) and time since the onset of menopause (p = 0.031), while no significant association was detected between biochemical markers and genetic background. Interestingly, 85% of patients with AA1730 genotype presented the smallest lumbar spine BMD values. These findings first indicate a worsening effect of ESR2 AluI polymorphism on lumbar spine BMD reduction in postmenopause, suggesting that the detection of this ESR2 variant should be recommended in postmenopausal women, particularly in populations with a high prevalence of ESR2 AA1730 homozygous genotype.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-417
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Issue number3-5
StatePublished - Nov 2011


  • BMD
  • Bone turnover markers
  • ESR2 gene variants
  • Estrogen receptor beta
  • Osteoporosis
  • Postmenopausal women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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