Pathophysiology of Glucocorticoid Signaling.

Published on Apr 20, 2018in Annales D Endocrinologie1.941
· DOI :10.1016/J.ANDO.2018.03.001
Géraldine Vitellius6
Estimated H-index: 6
(Université Paris-Saclay),
Séverine Trabado19
Estimated H-index: 19
(Université Paris-Saclay)
+ 2 AuthorsMarc Lombès57
Estimated H-index: 57
(Université Paris-Saclay)
Abstract Glucocorticoids (GC), such as cortisol or dexamethasone, control various physiological functions, notably those involved in development, metabolism, inflammatory processes and stress, and exert most of their effects upon binding to the glucocorticoid receptor (GR, encoded by NR3C1 gene). GC signaling follows several consecutive steps leading to target gene transactivation, including ligand binding, nuclear translocation of ligand-activated GR complexes, DNA binding, coactivator interaction and recruitment of functional transcriptional machinery. Any step may be impaired and may account for altered GC signaling. Partial or generalized glucocorticoid resistance syndrome may result in a reduced level of functional GR, a decreased hormone affinity and binding, a defect in nuclear GR translocation, a decrease or lack of DNA binding and/or post-transcriptional GR modifications. To date, 26 loss-of-function NR3C1 mutations have been reported in the context of hypertension, hirsutism, adrenal hyperplasia or metabolic disorders. These clinical signs are generally associated with biological features including hypercortisolism without negative regulatory feedback loop on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Patients had often low plasma aldosterone and renin levels despite hypertension. Only one GR gain-of-function mutation has been described associating Cushing's syndrome phenotype with normal urinary-free cortisol. Some GR polymorphisms (ER22/23EK, GR-9β) have been linked to glucocorticoid resistance and a healthier metabolic profile whereas some others seemed to be associated with GC hypersensitivity (N363S, BclI), increasing cardiovascular risk (diabetes type 2, visceral obesity). This review focuses on the earlier findings on the pathophysiology of GR signaling and presents criteria facilitating identification of novel NR3C1 mutations in selected patients.
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