ERRα: a metabolic function for the oldest orphan

Josep A. Villena, Anastasia Kralli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

177 Scopus citations


Estrogen receptor related receptor (ERR)α was one of the first identified (1988) orphan nuclear receptors. Many of the orphan receptors identified after ERRα were deorphanized in a timely manner and appreciated as key transcriptional regulators of metabolic pathways. ERRα, however, remains an orphan. Nevertheless, recent studies have defined regulatory mechanisms and transcriptional targets of ERRα, allowing this receptor to join ranks with other nuclear receptors that control metabolism. Notably, mice lacking ERRα show defects when challenged with stressors that require a 'shift of gears' in energy metabolism, such as exposure to cold, cardiac overload or infection. These findings establish the importance of ERRα for adaptive energy metabolism, and suggest that strategies targeting ERRα may be useful in fighting metabolic diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-276
Number of pages8
JournalTrends in Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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