Background and AimsStudies revealed that estrogenic signals were involved in the development of colorectal cancer (CRC), while the roles of estrogen related receptor (ERR) on the progression of CRC have not been well illustrated. Its roles on the development of CRC were investigated.MethodsThe expression of ERRα/β/γ in CRC cells were measured. The effects of ERRα on cell proliferation, migration and expression of cytokines were investigated accordingly.ResultsOur data revealed that the expression of ERRα, while not ERRβ or ERRγ, was significantly increased in CRC cells and clinical CRC tissues. Both the inverse agonist of ERRα (XCT-790) and si-ERRα can inhibit the proliferation of CRC cells. XCT-790 treatment can also suppress the wound healing and in vitro migration of CRC cells. Cytokine assays showed that XCT-790 can significantly decrease the expression of interleukin-8 (IL-8), while not IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, IL-9, IL-10, IL-18, IFN-γ, or TGF-β, in CRC cells. Over expression of ERRα increased the expression of IL-8. Luciferase assay showed XCT-790 decreased the promoter activity of IL-8. XCT-790 can increase the decay of IL-8 mRNA in SW480 cells. The recombinant IL-8 (rIL-8) can rescue XCT-790 induced suppression of proliferation and migration of CRC cells. XCT-790 can decrease the phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and STAT3, two downstream signal molecules of IL-8, in CRC cells. While rIL-8 can markedly attenuate XCT-790 induced dephosphorylation of ERK1/2 and STAT3.ConclusionOur data showed that ERRα can trigger the proliferation and migration of CRC cells via up regulation of IL-8. Therefor targeted inhibition of ERRα/IL-8 might be a potential approach for CRC treatment and drug development.