The glucocorticoid receptor protein binds to transfer RNA

Science  23 Jan 1987:
Vol. 235, Issue 4787, pp. 467-470
DOI: 10.1126/science.3798121


The glucocorticoid receptor from mouse AtT-20 cells exists in three forms: the untransformed receptor (9.1S; Mr of 319,000), a large oligomeric molecule that does not bind to DNA; the transformed receptor (4S; Mr of 96,000), which is formed by dissociation of untransformed receptor after steroid binding and which binds to DNA to modulate gene expression; and an intermediate size receptor (6S; Mr of 132,000), which also binds to DNA and contains a bound small RNA molecule. This RNA species has now been purified and identified as transfer RNA (tRNA). The three tRNA's for the basic amino acids accounted for about 78% of the total amino acid-accepting activity [arginine (52%), lysine (17%), and histidine (9%)], while the remaining 22% was represented by six other tRNA species. This tRNA-binding activity of the glucocorticoid receptor may reflect post-transcriptional mechanisms of regulating gene expression, such as alterations in the translational efficiency of or the modulation of the stability of hormone-induced proteins.