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Genes Dev. 2006 Mar 15;20(6):689-99.

Novel arylpyrazole compounds selectively modulate glucocorticoid receptor regulatory activity.

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Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94107-2280, USA.


The activities of intracellular receptors are regulated by their cognate ligands. Here we show that a series of related arylpyrazole compounds, which specifically bind the glucocorticoid receptor (GR), selectively modulated GR-regulated biological functions in preadipocyte, pre-osteoblast, and lung epithelial cell lines. Indeed, when we monitored 17 endogenous GR target genes in one of these cell types, we found that distinct arylpyrazole compounds induced different expression patterns. We showed by chromatin immunoprecipitation that the arylpyrazole compounds regulated, in a gene-specific manner, either GR occupancy of the genomic glucocorticoid response element (GRE) or events after GR association, such as histone modification. Overall, our results establish that subtle differences in ligand chemistry can profoundly influence the transcriptional regulatory activity of GR, and that endogenous genes bearing natural GREs are especially sensitive detectors of these differences.

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