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Nat Chem Biol. 2008 Sep;4(9):548-56. doi: 10.1038/nchembio.106.

Cytosporone B is an agonist for nuclear orphan receptor Nur77.

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Key Laboratory of the Ministry of Education for Cell Biology and Tumor Cell Engineering, School of Life Sciences, Xiamen University, 422 South Siming Road, Xiamen, Fujian 361005, China.


Nuclear orphan receptor Nur77 has important roles in many biological processes. However, a physiological ligand for Nur77 has not been identified. Here, we report that the octaketide cytosporone B (Csn-B) is a naturally occurring agonist for Nur77. Csn-B specifically binds to the ligand-binding domain of Nur77 and stimulates Nur77-dependent transactivational activity towards target genes including Nr4a1 (Nur77) itself, which contains multiple consensus response elements allowing positive autoregulation in a Csn-B-dependent manner. Csn-B also elevates blood glucose levels in fasting C57 mice, an effect that is accompanied by induction of multiple genes involved in gluconeogenesis. These biological effects were not observed in Nur77-null (Nr4a1-/-) mice, which indicates that Csn-B regulates gluconeogenesis through Nur77. Moreover, Csn-B induced apoptosis and retarded xenograft tumor growth by inducing Nur77 expression, translocating Nur77 to mitochondria to cause cytochrome c release. Thus, Csn-B may represent a promising therapeutic drug for cancers and hypoglycemia, and it may also be useful as a reagent to increase understanding of Nur77 biological function.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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