Send to

Choose Destination
Nature. 1989 Aug 24;340(6235):653-6.

Dual regulatory role for thyroid-hormone receptors allows control of retinoic-acid receptor activity.

Author information

Cancer Research Center, La Jolla Cancer Research Foundation, California 92037.


Both thyroid hormone (T3) and retinoic acid signal essential steps in development, differentiation and morphogenesis. Specific nuclear receptors for these ligands have recently been cloned. Previously we have noted a close homology between the DNA-binding domains of the epsilon-retinoic acid receptor (RAR-epsilon, also designated RAR-beta), the thyroid hormone receptors and the oestrogen receptor. We have now found that RAR-epsilon is very efficient at inducing transcription from two distinct thyroid-hormone responsive elements (TREs). Transcription induced by ligand-activated RAR-epsilon from a TRE can, however, be repressed by thyroid-hormone receptor in the absence of its ligand. Conversely, in the presence of its ligand, thyroid-hormone receptor will activate transcription from a TRE irrespective of the presence of unbound RAR. The use of hybrid receptors has shown that the DNA-binding domain of RAR is the essential target for inhibition by thyroid-hormone receptors. These data, together with in vitro DNA-binding studies, suggest that thyroid-hormone receptors may have dual regulatory roles: in the presence of hormone they function as TRE-specific transcriptional activators; in the absence of hormone, however, they can function as TRE-specific repressors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center