Send to

Choose Destination
J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 1993 Dec;46(6):643-61.

Ligand-dependent conformational changes in thyroid hormone and retinoic acid receptors are potentially enhanced by heterodimerization with retinoic X receptor.

Author information

Department of Cell Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030.


Recently, many lines of evidence have been accumulated indicating that thyroid hormone receptor (TR) and retinoic acid receptor (RAR) undergo a ligand-dependent conformation change. Since most of these results were obtained by either gel-shift assay or circular dichroism spectroscopic studies, it was not clear which part of the receptor bore the major conformational change. Moreover, it is not clear whether the formation of heterodimer between TR or RAR and retinoic X receptor (RXR) has any effects on this structural change. Utilizing partial proteolytic analysis, we demonstrated that thyroid hormone and retinoic acid induce a specific protease-resistant conformation to their cognate receptors. Studies of various deletion mutants reveal that the entire ligand binding domain of these receptors is involved in this change, and suggest that ligand may induce a more compact structure in its binding domain. Evidence from native gel electrophoresis supports this notion. This conformational change occurs in the absence of DNA and occurs independently of other domains in the receptor. Heterodimerization between TR or RAR and the RXR has little effect on receptor conformation in the absence of hormone but does enhance the ligand-dependent structural change. Interestingly, dual hormone treatment, i.e. thyroid hormone and 9-cis RA, intensifies this enhancement. We suggest that the observed protease-resistant conformation may introduce a different configuration to the receptor and therefore may affect the receptor in various ways, but most likely is involved in converting the receptor from a negative regulator to a positive activator.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center