Structure and Function of the Glucocorticoid Receptor DNA-Binding Domain
Steroids and other lipophilic hormones affect gene expression via specialized receptor proteins that reside in the cytoplasm or cell nucleus. Some features of this mechanism are illustrated by the well-characterized example of the glucocorticoid receptor: on binding the hormone, the receptor translocates from the cytoplasm to the nucleus, where it associates with particular sites in the genome and affects transcription rates of target genes. To date, some 30 distinct receptors sharing certain functional similarities with the glucocorticoid receptor have been identified. This closely related group has been termed the “steroid/nuclear receptor superfamily”, and members have been discovered in species as diverse as arthropods and mammals, representing some 500 million years of evolutionary divergence (Beato 1989; Parker 1991; Seagraves 1991; Laudet et al. 1992). The glucocorticoid receptor has been one of the more extensively studied members of the superfamily and has provided insight into the function of the steroid/nuclear receptors.
KeywordsEstrogen Cysteine Progesterone Androgen Histidine
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