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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Sep 29;106(39):16598-603. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0909192106. Epub 2009 Sep 15.

Repression of DNA-binding dependent glucocorticoid receptor-mediated gene expression.

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Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA.


The glucocorticoid receptor (GR) affects the transcription of genes involved in diverse processes, including energy metabolism and the immune response, through DNA-binding dependent and independent mechanisms. The DNA-binding dependent mechanism occurs by direct binding of GR to glucocorticoid response elements (GREs) at regulatory regions of target genes. The DNA-binding independent mechanism involves binding of GR to transcription factors and coactivators that, in turn, contact DNA. A small molecule that competes with GR for binding to GREs could be expected to affect the DNA-dependent pathway selectively by interfering with the protein-DNA interface. We show that a DNA-binding polyamide that targets the consensus GRE sequence binds the glucocorticoid-induced zipper (GILZ) GRE, inhibits expression of GILZ and several other known GR target genes, and reduces GR occupancy at the GILZ promoter. Genome-wide expression analysis of the effects of this polyamide on a set of glucocorticoid-induced and -repressed genes could help to elucidate the mechanism of GR regulation for these genes.

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