Tissue-specific estrogen biosynthesis and metabolism

Evan R. Simpson*, Colin Clyne, Caroline Speed, Gary Rubin, Serdar Bulun

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


While the ovaries are the principal source of systemic estrogen in the premenopausal nonpregnant woman, other sites of estrogen biosynthesis are present throughout the body and these become the major sources of estrogen beyond menopause. These extragonadal sources of estrogen are small, but may play an important, though hitherto largely unrecognized, physiological and pathophysiological role. Aromatase activity in extragonadal sites contributes to this source of estrogen and may contribute to breast tumor development and/or growth. Selective aromatase modulators (SAMs) may have a role to play in the treatment of estrogen-dependent diseases, such as breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-67
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
StatePublished - 2001


  • Aromatase
  • ERα
  • ERβ
  • SAMs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Neuroscience
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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