Cytosolic (ERc) and nuclear (ERn) estrogen receptors prepared from rat uteri were characterized by size-exclusion and ion-exchange HPLC. The oligomeric ERC eluted as a single, sharp peak near the exclusion volume of the gel column; ERn eluted as a broad peak. When salt-extracted ERn was partially purified sequentially by Sephadex G-200, DEAE-cellulose chromatography and polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, the partially purified receptor moieties were not distinguishable by the sucrose gradient method, but showed characteristic retention times in the size-exclusion HPLC column. Further distinction in net surface charges was observed between ERC and ERn moieties by ion-exchange high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC). Molybdate-stabilized ERC was eluted as sharp peak at 0.27 M salt gradient. In contrast, fresh extracts of ERn emerged as a broad peak in the region of 0.1–0.2M salt gradient. In the absence of molybdate, ERc dissociated into several 4–5 S molecules, which were well resolved in the DEAE column. This report, therefore, demonstrates the usefulness of size-exclusion and ion-exchange HPLC for steroid receptor analysis.

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