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Mol Endocrinol. 1995 Feb;9(2):232-42.

Ligand occupancy is not required for vitamin D receptor and retinoid receptor-mediated transcriptional activation.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Medicine and Dentistry-New Jersey Medical School, Newark 07103, USA.


Although steroid hormone receptor activation has been known to be dependent on ligand binding, we report here ligand-independent transcriptional activation of the vitamin D receptor and retinoid receptors. In these studies, CV1 cells were transiently transfected with a human vitamin D receptor (VDR) expression vector and a reporter plasmid that contains multiple copies of the rat osteocalcin vitamin D response element up-stream of the bacterial chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) gene [osteocalcin (OC)VDREtkCAT]. Treatment of cells with 10(-8) M 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 resulted in a 25-fold induction of CAT activity. When cells were treated with 5-50 nM okadaic acid (OA), an inhibitor of protein phosphatase-1 and -2A, significant inductions of CAT activity (18- to 57-fold) were observed. As VDR and dopamine receptors are colocalized in certain brain regions, we also examined whether VDR-mediated transcription can be activated by dopamine. VDR was found to activate CAT gene expression in cells treated with 200-500 microM dopamine (3- to 11-fold induction) or the selective D1 agonist SKF38393 (20-fold induction). Cells were also transfected with retinoic acid receptor (RAR) or retinoid-X receptor (RXR) expression vectors and reporter plasmids that contain either a retinoic acid response element or an RXR-specific response element. OA alone induced chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) activity in cells transfected with RAR alpha, RAR beta, RXR alpha, RXR beta, or RXR gamma (3- to 18-fold induction). However, OA did not affect transcription by RAR gamma, suggesting specificity of activation by OA among the retinoid receptors. Although the retinoid receptors have been detected in brain, maximum stimulation of transcription was not greater than 1.6-fold in the presence of 100-500 microM dopamine or 100 microM SKF38393 treatment. These data suggest specificity for dopamine activation among steroid hormone receptors and that phosphorylation alone, in the absence of ligand, can activate VDR- and retinoid receptor-mediated transcription.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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