Evidence for a Temporary Nonfunctional Steroid Receptor: Seasonal Rhythm in the Biological Activity of the Progesterone-Receptor in the Chick Oviduct

  • T. C. Spelsberg
  • G. Martin-Dani
  • P. A. Boyd-Leinen
  • O. Lian Kon
Conference paper


During investigations of the nuclear binding sites (acceptor sites) for the progesterone-receptor (P-R) in the developed chick oviduct, significant modulations in the capacity of various preparations of the receptor to bind to these nuclear acceptor sites were observed. These modulations occurred with a seasonal periodicity based on the date of the receptor isolation, demonstrating a nonfunctional P-R in the winter and a functional P-R during the rest of the year. Seasonal rhythms were observed for the nuclear binding of P-R to oviduct nuclei both in vivo and in vitro and to partially purified nuclear acceptor sites composed of protein-DNA complexes termed nucleoacidic protein (NAP). The rhythms were accompanied by a rhythm in the steroid-induced alterations of RNA polymerase II activity. No rhythms were apparent using pure DNA in the cell free binding assays, suggesting that pure DNA alone does not represent the native acceptor sites. These modulations in nuclear binding were found to correlate with changes in one of the two species (the A species) of the P-R. No other physico-chemical parameter (e.g., affinity of the steroid for the receptor, changes in sedimentation patterns, etc.) was identified which distinguished the receptor with nuclear binding capacity from the receptor with no such activity. Nonfunctioning P-R has also been identified in the undeveloped oviducts of untreated chicks and the atrophied oviducts of estrogen withdrawn chicks. In these instances, the B species of the P-R is missing. These results suggest that the two species of P-R from the avian oviduct are required for either activation or for the translocation and binding of the P-R in the nucleus. Whether the loss in these species is a cause or a result of receptor inactivation remains to be determined.


Acceptor Site Nuclear Binding Seasonal Rhythm Circannual Rhythm Acceptor Protein 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Boyd PA, Speisberg TC (1979 a) Biochemistry 18:3679–3685CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Boyd PA, Spelsberg TC (1979 b) Biochemistry 18:3685–3690CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Coty WA, Schräder WT, O’Malley BW (1979) J Steroid Biochem 10: 1–12PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Glasser SR, Chytil F, Spelsberg TC (1972) Biochem J 130: 947–957PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Jensen EV, Jacobson HI (1962) Recent Prog Horm Res 18: 387–414Google Scholar
  6. Little M, Rosenfeld GC, Jungblut PW (1972) Hoppe Seylers Z Physiol Chem 353: 231–242PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Milgrom E, Atger M, Baulieu EE (1970) Steroids 16: 714–754CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. O’Malley BM, Spelsberg TC, Schräder WT, Chytil F, Steggles AW (1972) Nature 235: 141–144PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. O’Malley BW, Means AR (1974) Science 183: 610–620PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Pikler GM, Webster RA, Spelsberg TC (1976) Biochem J 156: 399–408PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Schräder WT, O’Malley BW (1972) J Biol Chem 257: 51–59Google Scholar
  12. Schräder WT, Heuer SS, O’Malley BW (1975) Biol Reprod 12: 134–142PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Schräder WT, Kuhn RW, O’Malley BW (1977) J Biol Chem 252: 299–307PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Sherman MR, Corvol PL, O’Malley BW (1970) J Biol Chem 245: 6085–6096PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Spelsberg TC, Halberg F (1980) Endocrinology 107: 1234–1244PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Spelsberg TC, Toft DO (1976) In: Pasqualini JR (ed) Receptors and the mechanism of action of steroid hormones, parti. Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York, pp 261–309Google Scholar
  17. Spelsberg TC, Webster RA, Pikler G (1976 a) Nature 262: 65–67PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Spelsberg TC, Pikler GM, Webster RA (1976 b) Science 194: 197–199PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Spelsberg TC, Webster R, Pikler G, Thrall C, Wells D (1976 c) J Steroid Biochem 7: 1091–1101PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Spelsberg TC, Webster R, Pikler G, Thrall C, Wells D (1977) Ann NY Acad Sci 286: 43–63PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Spelsberg TC, Thrall CL, Martin-Dani G, Webster RA, Boyd PA (1979a) In: Hamilton TH, Clark HJ, Sadler WA (eds) Ontogeny of receptor and reproductive hormone action. Raven Press, New York, pp 31–63Google Scholar
  22. Spelsberg TC, Knowler J, Boyd PA, Thrall CL, Martin-Dani G (1979 b) J Steroid Biochem 11: 373–388Google Scholar
  23. Thrall CL, Webster RA, Spelsberg TC (1978) In: Busch H (ed) The cell nucleus, vol VI. Academic Press, New York, pp 461–529Google Scholar
  24. Thrall CL, Spelsberg TC (1980) Biochemistry 19: 4130–4138PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Toft DO, Gorski J (1966) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 55: 1574–1581PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Webster RA, Spelsberg TC (1979) J Steroid Biochem 10:343–351PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Webster RA, Pikler GM, Spelsberg TC (1976) Biochem J 156: 409–419PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. C. Spelsberg
  • G. Martin-Dani
  • P. A. Boyd-Leinen
  • O. Lian Kon
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Cell Biology-Biochemistry Mayo Clinic and Mayo Graduate School of MedicineRochesterUSA

Personalised recommendations