Mineralocorticoid action: target tissue specificity is enzyme, not receptor, mediated

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Science  28 Oct 1988:
Vol. 242, Issue 4878, pp. 583-585
DOI: 10.1126/science.2845584


Mineralocorticoid receptors, both when in tissue extracts and when recombinant-derived, have equal affinity for the physiological mineralocorticoid aldosterone and for the glucocorticoids cortisol and corticosterone, which circulate at much higher concentrations than aldosterone. Such receptors are found in physiological mineralocorticoid target tissues (kidney, parotid, and colon) and in nontarget tissues such as hippocampus and heart. In mineralocorticoid target tissues the receptors are selective for aldosterone in vivo because of the presence of the enzyme 11 beta-hydroxy-steroid dehydrogenase, which converts cortisol and corticosterone, but not aldosterone, to their 11-keto analogs. These analogs cannot bind to mineralocorticoid receptors.

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