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EMBO J. 1989 Aug;8(8):2257-63.

Glucocorticoid receptor binds cooperatively to adjacent recognition sites.

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  • 1Institute of Cell and Tumor Biology, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, FRG.


In order to define the mechanism of synergistic induction mediated by multiple glucocorticoid response elements (GRE), the affinity of the glucocorticoid receptor to a single or duplicated GRE was analyzed by gel retardation, nitrocellulose filter binding and by footprinting experiments. Direct measurement of the relative affinity and indirect determination by competition showed greater than 10-fold higher affinity of the glucocorticoid receptor to a duplicated GRE when compared to a single element. Maximal stability of the GRE-receptor complex was obtained using two closely spaced GREs positioned on the same side of the DNA helix. Increasing the distance or changing the helical position of the GREs considerably increased the off rate of the receptor. DNase I footprinting shows in addition to the protection of the GRE region, an altered pattern in the nonprotected intervening DNA indicating structural alteration of the DNA helix by the receptor bound to adjacent GREs.

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