Steroid receptor coregulator diversity: what can it mean for the stressed brain?

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Neuroscience, Volume 138, Number 3, p.891-899 (2006)


0306-4522 (Print)0306-45

DOI Name (links to online publication)



Animals; Brain/*physiology/physiopathology; Gene Expression Regulation; Homeostasis; Kinetics; Receptors; Glucocorticoid/*physiology; Receptors; Mineralocorticoid/*physiology; Signal Transduction; Steroids/physiology; Stress; Physiological/*physiopatholog


Glucocorticoid hormones modulate brain function and as such are crucial for responding and adjusting to physical and psychological stressors. Their effects are mediated via mineralo- and glucocorticoid receptors, which in large measure act as transcription factors to modulate transcription of target genes, in a receptor-, cell-, and state-specific manner. The nature and magnitude of these transcriptional effects depend on the presence and activity of downstream proteins, such as steroid receptor coactivators and corepressors (together: coregulators), many of which are expressed in the brain. We address the role of coregulators for mineralo- and glucocorticoid receptor-mediated modulation of gene transcription. We first address evidence from cell lines for the importance of coregulator stoichiometry for steroid signaling. The in vivo importance of coregulators-when possible specifically for glucocorticoid signaling in the brain-is discussed based on knockout mice, transient knockdown of steroid receptor coactivators, and distribution and regulation of coactivator expression in the brain. We conclude that for a better understanding of modulation of brain function by glucocorticoids, it is necessary to take into account the role of coregulators, and to assess their importance relative to changes in hormone levels and receptor expression.