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Generating diversity in glucocorticoid receptor signaling: mechanisms, receptor isoforms, and post-translational modifications

Generating diversity in glucocorticoid receptor signaling: mechanisms, receptor isoforms, and post-translational modifications

Hormone Molecular Biology and Clinical Investigation 3(1): 319-328

Glucocorticoids are necessary for life after birth and regulate numerous homeostatic functions in man, including glucose homeostasis, protein catabolism, skeletal growth, respiratory function, inflammation, development, behavior, and apoptosis. In a clinical setting, they are widely used as anti-inflammatory agents to control both acute and chronic inflammation. Unfortunately, owing to their broad range of physiological actions, patients treated with glucocorticoids for long periods of time experience a variety of serious side effects, including metabolic syndrome, bone loss, and psychiatric disorders including depression, mania, and psychosis. Our understanding of how one hormone or drug regulates all of these diverse processes is limited. Recent studies have shown that multiple glucocorticoid receptor isoforms are produced from one gene via combinations of alternative mRNA splicing and alternative translation initiation. These isoforms possess unique tissue distribution patterns and transcriptional regulatory profiles. Owing to variation in the N-terminal and C-terminal length of glucocorticoid receptor isoforms, different post-translational modifications including ubiquitination, phosphorylation, and sumoylation are predicted, contributing to the complexity of glucocorticoid signaling. Furthermore, increasing evidence suggests that unique glucocorticoid receptor isoform compositions within cells could determine the cell-specific response to glucocorticoids. In this review, we will outline the recent advances made in the characterization of the transcriptional activity and the selective regulation of apoptosis by the various glucocorticoid receptor isoforms.

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Accession: 057925625

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PMID: 25961204

DOI: 10.1515/hmbci.2010.039

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