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Biochem Pharmacol. 2006 Nov 30;72(11):1589-96. Epub 2006 Jul 17.

Epigenetic regulation of nuclear steroid receptors.

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Kimmel Cancer Center, Department of Cancer Biology, Thomas Jefferson University, 233 South 10th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA.


Histone modifier proteins have come to the forefront in the study of gene regulation. It is now known that histone methyltransferases, acetytransferases, kinases, ubiquitinases, deacetylases and demethylases orchestrate expression of target genes by modifying both histone and non-histone proteins. The nuclear receptor (NR) superfamily govern such diverse biological processes as development, physiology and disease, including human cancer. The involvement of NR in complexes with coactivators and corepressors is necessary for regulation of target genes. This review focuses on the newly recognized interactions between the NR and histone modifying enzymes. In addition to regulating histones, the histone modifying proteins directly modify and thereby regulate NR activity. In the same manner that signaling platforms exist within the histone tails that are post-translationally processed by histone modifying proteins, cascades of post-translational modification have been identified within the NR that coordinate their activity. This review focuses on the regulation of the NR estrogen receptor (ERalpha), androgen receptor (AR) and peroxisome proliferator activated receptor-gamma (PPARgamma), given their role in tumor onset and progression.

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