Hormone-Dependent and Hormone-Independent Conformational Transitions of the Estrogen Receptor
From a chemical perspective, steroid hormones are simple molecules. Yet from a biological perspective, steroid hormones are complex molecules that are capable of coordinating and regulating a diverse number of biological processes. At the cellular level, the crucial links between the chemically simple and biologically complex nature of steroid hormones are specific receptor proteins that bind steroids with very high affinity, and are found exclusively in cells that respond to hormone. In effect, steroid hormone receptors are macromolecular information transducers in that they couple broad biological input, i.e., the cumulative information that leads to synthesis of a steroid molecule, to dramatic cellular response. Since cellular responses are strictly dependent on the interaction of hormone and receptor, it has been of considerable interest to biochemists and molecular biologists to define the molecular mechanisms involved in hormone-dependent modulation of steroid receptor activity. In addition, the emerging evidence that steroid receptors are also intimately involved in many diseases has provided additional impetus to understand better the mechanism of steroid receptor action in target cells.
KeywordsEstrogen Receptor Partition Coefficient Glucocorticoid Receptor Steroid Receptor Hormone Binding
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