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Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2005 May 31;236(1-2):1-7.

The role of DNA response elements as allosteric modulators of steroid receptor function.

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Spanish National Cancer Center, E-28029 Madrid, Spain.


Steroid receptors are ligand-activated transcription factors which control the expression of their target genes by binding to specific DNA elements. Consensus response elements have been delineated for the glucocorticoid, androgen, progesterone and mineralocorticoid receptors on one hand (steroid response element, SRE) and for the estrogen receptor on the other hand (estrogen response element, ERE). Small variations in these sequences not only affect the binding but may also have a dramatic impact on the transcriptional activity of steroid receptors. It has now become obvious that DNA response elements do not merely tether regulatory proteins to control regions of target genes but may additionally impart conformational changes onto the DNA-binding domain as well as to neighbouring domains of steroid receptors. This in turn will create unique platforms for selective recruitment of cofactors and possibly for induction of modifications in local chromatin architecture. An additional level of complexity is added by the frequent presence of multiple response elements in gene promoter regions. The allosteric effects of DNA response elements on steroid receptors may be essential for differential gene expression and this offers interesting perspectives for the identification of selective modulators.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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