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Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2012 Jan 30;348(2):430-9. doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2011.04.021. Epub 2011 Jun 1.

Steroid receptor coactivators 1, 2, and 3: critical regulators of nuclear receptor activity and steroid receptor modulator (SRM)-based cancer therapy.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, United States.


Coactivators are a diverse group of non-DNA binding proteins that induce structural changes in agonist-bound nuclear receptors (NRs) that are essential for NR-mediated transcriptional activation. Once bound, coactivators function to bridge enhancer binding proteins to the general transcription machinery, as well as to recruit secondary coactivators that modify promoter and enhancer chromatin in a manner permissive for transcriptional activation. In the following review article, we focus on one of the most in-depth studied families of coactivators, the steroid receptor coactivators (SRC) 1, 2, and 3. SRCs are widely implicated in NR-mediated diseases, especially in cancers, with the majority of studies focused on their roles in breast cancer. We highlight the relevant literature supporting the oncogenic activity of SRCs and their future as diagnostic and prognostic indicators. With much interest in the development of selective receptor modulators (SRMs), we focus on how these coactivators regulate the interactions between SRMs and their respective NRs; and, importantly, the influence that coactivators have on the functional output of SRMs. Furthermore, we speculate that coactivator-specific inhibitors could provide powerful, all-encompassing treatments that target multiple modes of oncogenic regulation in cancers resistant to typical anti-endocrine treatments.

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