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Eur J Pharmacol. 2008 Apr 7;583(2-3):290-302. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2007.11.076. Epub 2008 Jan 31.

Selective transrepression versus transactivation mechanisms by glucocorticoid receptor modulators in stress and immune systems.

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Laboratory of Eukaryotic Gene Expression & Signal Transduction (LEGEST), Department of Molecular Biology, Ghent University, K.L. Ledeganckstraat 35, 9000 Gent, Belgium.


Glucocorticoids control immune homeostasis and regulate stress responses in the human body to a large extent via the glucocorticoid receptor. This transcription factor can modulate gene expression either through direct DNA binding (mainly resulting in transactivation) or independent of DNA binding (in the majority of cases resulting in transrepression). The aim of this review is to discuss the mechanistic basis and applicability of different glucocorticoid receptor modulators in various affections, ranging from immune disorders to mental dysfunctions.

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