Nuclear receptors (NRs) and Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) are essential for many cellular processes, and sequence variations in their coding genes have been reported in many diseases, including cancer. The identification of hormone response elements (HREs) is essential for understanding the mechanism of hormone-regulated gene expression. In this study, we screened for HREs in human RTKs and we found that estrogen receptors (ER) in particular, and androgen (ARE) and progesterone (PGR) receptors to a lesser extent, act as master genes in this network. Furthermore, through a combinatorial analysis of different data sources, we predict that an estrogen response element (ERE) exists in the upstream region of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). Sequencing this ERE in a primary clinical breast cancer sample resulted in detection of a variation that deserves further validation.
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