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1.  Ligand-Induced Repression of the Glucocorticoid Receptor Gene Is Mediated by an NCoR1 Repression Complex Formed by Long-Range Chromatin Interactions with Intragenic Glucocorticoid Response Elements 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2013;33(9):1711-1722.
Glucocorticoids are among the most potent and effective agents for treating inflammatory diseases and hematological cancers. However, subpopulations of patients are often resistant to steroid therapy, and determining the molecular mechanisms that contribute to glucocorticoid resistance is thus critical to addressing this clinical problem affecting patients with chronic inflammatory disorders. Since the cellular level of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) is a critical determinant of glucocorticoid sensitivity and resistance, we investigated the molecular mechanisms mediating repression of glucocorticoid receptor gene expression. We show here that glucocorticoid-induced repression of GR gene expression is mediated by inhibition of transcription initiation. This process is orchestrated by the recruitment of agonist-bound GR to exon 6, followed by the assembly of a GR-NCoR1-histone deacetylase 3-containing repression complex at the transcriptional start site of the GR gene. A functional negative glucocorticoid response element (nGRE) in exon 6 of the GR gene and a long-range interaction occurring between this intragenic response element and the transcription start site appear to be instrumental in this repression. This autoregulatory mechanism of repression implies that the GR concentration can coordinate repression with excess ligand, regardless of the combinatorial associations of tissue-specific transcription factors. Consequently, the chronic nature of inflammatory conditions involving long-term glucocorticoid administration may lead to constitutive repression of GR gene transcription and thus to glucocorticoid resistance.
PMCID: PMC3624172  PMID: 23428870
2.  E6-associated protein (E6-AP) is a dual function coactivator of steroid hormone receptors 
Steroid hormone receptors (SHR) belong to a large family of ligand-activated transcription factors that perform their biological functions by enhancing the transcription of specific target genes. The transactivation functions of SHRs are regulated by a specialized group of proteins called coactivators. The SHR coactivators represent a growing class of proteins with various enzymatic activities that serve to modify the chromatin to facilitate the transcription of SHR target genes. The ubiquitin-proteasome pathway enzymes have also been added to the growing list of enzymatic activities that are recruited to the SHR target gene promoters during transcription. One such ubiquitin-proteasome pathway enzyme to be identified and characterized as a SHR coactivator was E6-associated protein (E6-AP). E6-AP is a hect (homologous to E6-associated protein carboxy-terminal domain) domain containing E3 ubiquitin ligase that possesses two independent separable functions; a coactivation function and an ubiquitin-protein ligase activity. Being a component of the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway, it is postulated that E6-AP may orchestrate the dynamics of steroid hormone receptor-mediated transcription by regulating the degradation of the transcriptional complexes. E6-AP has also been shown to be involved in the regulation of various aspects of reproduction such as prostate and mammary gland development. Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that E6-AP expression is down-regulated in breast and prostate tumors and that the expression of E6-AP is inversely associated with that of estrogen and androgen receptors. This review summarizes our current knowledge about the structures, molecular mechanisms, spatiotemporal expression patterns and biological functions of E6-AP.
PMCID: PMC2329825  PMID: 18432313

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