Nongenomic actions of steroid hormones in reproductive tissues

The carboxy-terminal hormone-binding domain of the TRα gene is alternatively-spliced to generate several protein products (Figure 3d-2, below). One variant, referred to as α-2, is identical to TRα-1 through the first 370 amino acids, but then its sequence diverges completely, owing to splicing of alternate exons (44-47). Another splicing variant, referred to as TRvII or α-3, is similar to α-2 except that it lacks the first 39 amino acids found in the unique region of α-2 (45). α -2 cannot bind TH because of the replacement of critical amino acids at the extreme carboxy-terminal end of the protein due to alternative splicing (48), and thus cannot mediate ligand-dependent gene transcription (49– 51). The amino acid replacements in α-2 also alter its dimerization properties and reduce DNA-binding affinity (52-55). The α-2 splicing variant is highly expressed in many tissues such as brain, testis, kidney, and brown fat, but its function remains poorly understood (56). The α-2 isoform has been proposed to be an endogenous inhibitor of TH receptor function as it inhibits TRα and β activity in transient gene expression assays (44,54). The mechanism by which α-2 antagonizes TR action is controversial. Some studies indicate that α-2 competes for active receptor complexes at DNA target sites (57,58). Other studies indicate that α-2 inhibits TR activity independent of DNA-binding (59). It is likely that the inhibitory effects of α-2 involve more than one mechanism. Amino acid substitutions in the carboxy-terminal region of α-2 also prevent its interactions with transcriptional corepressors (see below) (55), and may provide an explanation as to why α-2 is not a more potent inhibitor of TR activity. Additionally, the phosphorylation state of α-2 may modulate its inhibitory activity (60). Given the foregoing features, the TRα-1 and α-2 system represents one of the few examples in mammals whereby multiple mRNAs generated by alternative splicing encode proteins that are antagonistic to each other.

Nongenomic actions of steroid hormones in reproductive tissues

nongenomic actions of steroid hormones in reproductive tissues

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