Send to

Choose Destination
Mol Endocrinol. 1995 Apr;9(4):401-12.

Negative cross-talk between RelA and the glucocorticoid receptor: a possible mechanism for the antiinflammatory action of glucocorticoids.

Author information

Hubrecht Laboratory, Netherlands Institute for Developmental Biology, Utrecht.


Glucocorticoids are efficient antiinflammatory agents, and their effects include transcriptional repression of several cytokines and adhesion molecules. Whereas glucocorticoids down-regulate the expression of genes relevant during inflammation, nuclear factor (NF)-kappa B/Rel proteins function as important positive regulators of these genes. The expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), which plays an essential role in recruitment and migration of leukocytes to sites of inflammation, is also down-regulated by glucocorticoids. We found that a functional NF-kappa B site in the ICAM-1 promoter, which can be activated by either 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate or tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF alpha), is also the target for glucocorticoids. In this report we present evidence that the ligand-activated glucocorticoid receptor (GR) is able to repress RelA-mediated activation of the ICAM-1 NF-kappa B site. Conversely, transcriptional activation by GR via a glucocorticoid response element is specifically repressed by RelA, but not by other NF-kappa B/Rel family members. Mutational analysis of GR demonstrates that the DNA binding domain and the ligand binding domain are required for the functional repression of NF-kappa B activation. Despite the importance of the DNA binding domain, we found that the transcriptional repression of NF-kappa B, mediated by GR, is not caused by binding of GR to the ICAM-1 NF-kappa B element, but by a physical interaction between the GR and RelA protein. The repressive effect of GR on NF-kappa B-mediated activation was not shared by other steroid/thyroid receptors. Only the progesterone receptor, which belongs to the same subfamily as GR and which possesses high homology with GR, was able to repress NF-kappa B-mediated transcription. These studies highlight a possible molecular mechanism that can explain the antiinflammatory effects of glucocorticoid treatment during inflammation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center