Nuclear Receptors: One Big Family

  • Iain J. McEwan
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology™ book series (MIMB, volume 505)


It is just over 20 years since the first steroid receptor cDNAs were cloned, a development that led to the birth of a superfamily of ligand activated transcription factors: the nuclear receptors. Natural ligands for nuclear receptors are generally lipophilic in nature and include steroid hormones, bile acids, fatty acids, thyroid hormones, certain vitamins and prostaglandins. These molecules act as sensors of the extracellular and intracellular environment and play crucial roles controlling development, differentiation, metabolic homeostasis, and reproduction. Since the original cloning experiments considerable progress has been made in our understanding of the structure, mechanisms of action and biology of this important family of proteins.

Key words

Steroid hormones Glucocorticoid receptors Estrogen receptors Retinoic acid receptors Orphan receptors Gene regulation Phosphorylation Acetylation Sumoylation Hormone resistance 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press, a part of Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Iain J. McEwan
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Medical SciencesUniversity of AberdeenAberdeenScotland

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