The Glucocorticoid Receptor β-Isoform: A Perspective on Its Relevance in Human Health and Disease

  • M. J. M. Schaaf
  • J. A. Cidlowski
Conference paper
Part of the Ernst Schering Research Foundation Workshop book series (SCHERING FOUND, volume 40)


Glucocorticoids are steroid hormones that are secreted by the adrenal gland in a diurnal rhythm and after acute stress. They have diverse effects ranging from altering an organism’s metabolism and behavior to the function of its immune system. Clinically, they are used to treat a wide variety of diseases, including allergic and autoimmune diseases like asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. They are generally effective therapies against these pathologies because of their well-known anti-inflammatory effects. The actions of glucocorticoids are mediated by an intracellular receptor, the glucocorticoid receptor (GR). The GR is a member of the steroid receptor subfamily that includes the mineralocorticoid, progesterone, androgen, and estrogen receptors. In turn, the steroid receptors belong to the nuclear receptor superfamily, which includes the thyroid, retinoid, and vitamin-D receptors. Upon activation by their ligand, these receptors can act as transcription factors, i.e., they can activate or repress the transcription of specific target genes.


Glucocorticoid Receptor Glucocorticoid Resistance Dominant Negative Activity Human Glucocorticoid Receptor Human Respiratory Epithelial Cell 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. J. M. Schaaf
  • J. A. Cidlowski

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