Cellular Site of Glucocorticoid-Receptor Complex Formation

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Science  14 Jan 1972:
Vol. 175, Issue 4018, pp. 189-190
DOI: 10.1126/science.175.4018.189


The cellular site of binding of dexamethasone by specific glucocorticoid receptors in cultured hepatoma cells was investigated with the use of certain mercurials. p-Chloromercuribenzene sulfonate and p-chloromercuribenzoate inhibit the binding of steroid by receptors in cell-free extracts, but they allow the steroid-receptor complex to form in whole cells. In contrast, HgCl2 inhibits binding both in extracts and cells. Since both organic mercury compounds, unlike HgCl2, do not readily enter intact cells, it appears that the specific steroid binding occurs inside the cell rather than at the cell membrane.