Glucocorticoid receptor structure and function

Raj Kumar, Iain J. McEwan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


Glucocorticoids are essential hormones for life and among the most potent anti-inflammatory agents, which regulate most of their biological effects at the level of gene regulation by binding to the glucocorticoid receptor (GR). The phenomenon of hormone-dependent activation of the GR has extensively been exploited for the clinical evolution of small molecule selective glucocorticoid receptor modulators. Current understanding of the available structural information of the GR places a special emphasis on the importance of conformational dynamics that play a critical role in the receptor action, and how this information can be used for structure-based drug design. Recent structural analyses have highlighted how the allosteric properties of receptor binding sites associated with glucocorticoid-regulated genes influence the composition of coregulatory complexes recruited by the GR. In addition, the role of binding partner proteins as ligands for otherwise intrinsically disordered amino-terminal, activation function-1 (AF1) in affecting gene-specific regulation could begin to define a molecular map that integrates site-specific DNA, ligands, chromatin, coregulators and post-transcriptional modifications to determine the composition and function of gene-specific transcriptional regulatory complexes involving GR.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNuclear Receptors: From Structure to the Clinic
EditorsRaj Kumar, Iain J McEwan
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9783319187297
ISBN (Print)9783319187280
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2015


  • Glucocorticoid receptor
  • Conformational dynamics
  • Gene regulation
  • Allosteric regulation


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