DNA-binding domain of Retinoid-related orphan receptors (RORs) is composed of two C4-type zinc fingers
DNA-binding domain of Retinoid-related orphan receptors (RORs) is composed of two C4-type zinc fingers. Each zinc finger contains a group of four Cys residues which coordinates a single zinc atom. ROR interacts with specific DNA sites upstream of the target gene and modulates the rate of transcriptional initiation. RORS are key regulators of many physiological processes during embryonic development. RORs bind as monomers to specific ROR response elements (ROREs) consisting of the consensus core motif AGGTCA preceded by a 5-bp A/T-rich sequence. There are three subtypes of retinoid-related orphan receptors (RORs), alpha, beta, and gamma, which differ only in N-terminal sequence and are distributed in distinct tissues. RORalpha plays a key role in the development of the cerebellum particularly in the regulation of the maturation and survival of Purkinje cells. RORbeta expression is largely restricted to several regions of the brain, the retina, and pineal gland. RORgamma is essential for lymph node organogenesis. Recently, it has been suggested that cholesterol or a cholesterol derivative are the natural ligands of RORalpha. Like other members of the nuclear receptor (NR) superfamily of ligand-activated transcription factors, retinoid-related orphan receptors have a central well conserved DNA binding domain (DBD), a variable N-terminal domain, a non-conserved hinge and a C-terminal ligand binding domain (LBD).