Dopaminergic and ligand-independent activation of steroid hormone receptors

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Science  13 Dec 1991:
Vol. 254, Issue 5038, pp. 1636-1639
DOI: 10.1126/science.1749936


The current view of how steroid hormone receptors affect gene transcription is that these receptors, on binding ligand, change to a state in which they can interact with chromatin and regulate transcription of target genes. Receptor activation is believed to be dependent only on this ligand-binding event. Selected steroid hormone receptors can be activated in a ligand-independent manner by a membrane receptor agonist, the neurotransmitter dopamine. In vitro, dopamine faithfully mimicked the effect of progesterone by causing a translocation of chicken progesterone receptor (cPR) from cytoplasm to nucleus. Dual activation by progesterone and dopamine was dissociable, and a serine residue in the cPR was identified that is not necessary for progesterone-dependent activation of cPR, but is essential for dopamine activation of this receptor.

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