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Vitamins, Harmones and Hemoglobin

12 out of 30

Which of the following act on intra cellular receptor then act through nuclear protein (AIIMS May 2011)

A Growth hormone

B Thyroxin

C Epinephrine


Ans. B Thyroxine

Reference : Harper 27th edition page 464 & 465

a. Intracellular receptors, such as nuclear receptors and cytoplasmic receptors, are soluble proteins localized within their respective areas.

b. The typical ligands for nuclear receptors are lipophilic hormones like the steroid hormones testosterone and progesterone and derivatives of vitamins A and D. To initiate signal transduction, the ligand must pass through the plasma membrane by passive diffusion.

c. On binding with the receptor, the ligands pass through the nuclear membrane into the nucleus, enabling gene transcription and protein production.

d. Activated nuclear receptors attach to the DNA at receptor-specific hormone-responsive element (HRE) sequences, located in the promoter region of the genes activated by the hormone-receptor complex. Due to them enabling gene transcription, they are alternatively called inductors of gene expression. Activation of gene transcription is slower than signals directly affecting existing proteins; therefore, the effects of hormones that use nucleic receptors are long-term.

e. Signal transduction via these receptors involves little proteins, but the details of gene regulation by this method are not well understood. Nucleic receptors have DNA-binding domains containing zinc fingers and a ligand-binding domain; the zinc fingers stabilize DNA binding by holding its phosphate backbone. DNA sequences that match the receptor are usually hexameric repeats of any kind; the sequences are similar but their orientation and distance differentiate them. The ligand-binding domain is additionally responsible for dimerization of nucleic receptors prior to binding and providing structures for transactivation used for communication with the translational apparatus.

f. Steroid receptors are a subclass of nuclear receptors located primarily within the cytosol; in the absence of steroids, they cling together in an aporeceptor complex containing chaperone or heatshock proteins (HSPs). The HSPs are necessary to activate the receptor by assisting the protein to fold in a way such that the signal sequence enabling its passage into the nucleus is accessible.

g. Steroid receptors, on the other hand, may be repressive on gene expression when their transactivation domain is hidden; activity can be enhanced by phosphorylation of serine residues at their N-terminal as a result of another signal transduction pathway, a process called crosstalk.

h. Retinoic acid receptors are another subset of nuclear receptors. They can be activated by an endocrine-synthesized ligand that entered the cell by diffusion, a ligand synthesised from a precursor like retinol brought to the cell through the bloodstream or a completely intracellularly synthesised ligand like prostaglandin. These receptors are located in the nucleus and are not accompanied by HSPs; they repress their gene by binding to their specific DNA sequence when no ligand binds to them and vice versa.

Thyroid Hormone Receptors and Mechanism of Action:

a. Receptors for steroid and thyroid hormones are located inside target cells, in the cytoplasm or nucleus, and function as ligand-dependent transcription factors. Receptors for thyroid hormones are intracellular DNA-binding proteins that function as hormone-responsive transcription factors, very similar conceptually to the receptors for steroid hormones.

b. Thyroid hormones enter cells through membrane transporter proteins. A number of plasma membrane transporters have been identified, some of which require ATP hydrolysis; the relative importance of different carrier systems is not yet clear and may differ among tissues.

c. Once inside the nucleus, the hormone binds its receptor, and the hormone-receptor complex interacts with specific sequences of DNA in the promoters of responsive genes. The effect of the hormone-receptor complex binding to DNA is to modulate gene expression, either by stimulating or inhibiting transcription of specific genes.

d. For the purpose of illustration, consider one mechanism by which thyroid hormones increase the strength of contraction of the heart. Cardiac contractility depends, in part, on the relative ratio of different types of myosin proteins in cardiac muscle. Transcription of some myosin genes is stimulated by thyroid hormones, while transcription of others in inhibited. The net effect is to alter the ratio toward increased contractility.

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