Valine 571 functions as a regional organizer in programming the glucocorticoid receptor for differential binding of glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids.
The glucocorticoid receptor (GR) interacts specifically with glucocorticoids, whereas its closest relative, the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR), interacts with both glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids, such as aldosterone. To investigate the mechanism underlying the glucocorticoid/mineralocorticoid specificity of the GR, we used a yeast model system to screen for GR ligand-binding domain mutants, substituted with MR residues in the segment 565-574, that can be efficiently activated by aldosterone. In all such increased activity mutants, valine 571 was replaced by methionine, even though most mutants also contained substitutions of other residues with their MR counterparts. Further analysis in yeast and COS-7 cells has revealed that the identity of residue 571 determines the behavior of other MR substituted residues in the 565-574 segment. Generally, MR substitutions in this region are only consistent with aldosterone binding if residue 571 is also replaced with methionine (MR conformation). If residue 571 is valine (GR conformation), most other MR substitution mutants drastically reduce interaction with both mineralocorticoid and glucocorticoid hormones. Based on these functional data, we hypothesize that residue 571 functions as a regional organizer involved in discriminating between glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid hormones. We have used a molecular model of the GR ligand-binding domain in an attempt to interpret our functional data in structural terms. (+info)
Levels of mineralocorticoids in whites and blacks.
Blacks appear, on average, to retain more Na than whites. A higher production rate of mineralocorticoids could explain the greater Na retention in blacks. Although production of aldosterone has been shown to be lower in blacks, the level of another mineralocorticoid may be increased. Plasma levels of deoxycorticosterone and cortisol were measured in young whites (n=23; age=16.4+/-3.1[SD] years) and young blacks (n=25; age=13.8+/-1.3 years). Blacks had lower plasma levels of renin activity and aldosterone and lower urinary aldosterone excretion rates; thus, they appeared to be representative of blacks that retain additional Na. Plasma deoxycorticosterone levels were lower in blacks than in whites both at baseline (247+/-161 versus 381+/-270 pmol/L, P=0.048) and after stimulation with adrenocorticotropic hormone (822+/-294 versus 1127+/-628 pmol/L at 30 minutes, P=0.047; 925+/-366 versus 1440+/-834 pmol/L at 60 minutes, P=0.013). Cortisol levels were also lower in blacks at baseline (P=0.014) but were not significantly different from levels in whites after stimulation with adrenocorticotropic hormone. In a larger cohort of 407 whites (age=12.0+/-2.9 years) and 247 blacks (age=12.9+/-3.1 years), 18-hydroxycortisol excretion rates were also lower in blacks (P=0. 021). In conclusion, increased Na retention in blacks does not appear to be secondary to increased production of either aldosterone, deoxycorticosterone, cortisol, or 18-hydroxycortisol. A primary renal mechanism may mediate the increase in Na reabsorption in blacks. (+info)
Glucocorticoids potently block tumour necrosis factor-alpha- and lipopolysaccharide-induced apoptotic cell death in bovine glomerular endothelial cells upstream of caspase 3 activation.
1. Endothelial cell damage in glomeruli and kidney arterioles appears to play a pivotal role in glomerular inflammatory diseases. Glomerular endothelial cells, a specialized microvascular cell type involved in the regulation of glomerular ultrafiltration, die by apoptosis in response to tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), TNF-alpha/basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), TNF-alpha/cycloheximide, and bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Apoptotic cell death is characterized by extensive DNA cleavage, DNA ladder formation, and characteristic morphological alterations. 2. In search for apoptosis-preventing signals, we identified glucocorticoids as potent death preventing factors. Co-treatment of cells with 10 nM dexamethasone and TNF-alpha, TNF-alpha/bFGF, TNF-alpha/cycloheximide, or LPS blocked roughly 90% of apoptotic cell death in glomerular endothelial cells. 3. Similarly to dexamethasone (TNF-alpha- and LPS-induced apoptosis are prevented with IC50 values of 0.8 and 0.9 nM, respectively), other synthetic and natural forms of glucocorticoids, such as fluocinolone, prednisolone, hydrocortisone, and corticosterone potently inhibited cell death with IC50 values of 0.2, 6, 50 and 1000 nM, for TNF-alpha and 0.7, 8, 100 and 500 nM for LPS, respectively. 4. Apart from glucocorticoids, mineralocorticoids such as aldosterone also blocked TNF-alpha/LPS-induced apoptosis (IC50 approximately 500 nM for TNF-alpha and approximately 500 nM for LPS), whereas sex hormones, i. e. beta-estradiol and testosterone remained without effect. 5. The protective effect of glucocorticoids (and mineralocorticoids) required glucocorticoid receptor binding as it could be antagonized by the glucocorticoid receptor antagonist RU-486. Concerning TNF-alpha and LPS signal transduction, we found that dexamethasone efficiently prevented TNF-alpha- and LPS-induced activation of caspase-3-like proteases. Therefore, we postulate inhibitory mechanisms upstream of terminal death pathways. (+info)
Genetic, biochemical, and clinical studies of patients with A328V or R213C mutations in 11betaHSD2 causing apparent mineralocorticoid excess.
Apparent mineralocorticoid excess is a recessively inherited hypertensive syndrome caused by mutations in the 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 gene, which encodes the enzyme normally responsible for converting cortisol to inactive cortisone. Failure to convert cortisol to cortisone in mineralocorticoid-sensitive tissues permits cortisol to bind to and activate mineralocorticoid receptors, causing hypervolemic hypertension. Typically, these patients have increased ratios of cortisol to cortisone and of 5alpha- to 5beta-cortisol metabolites in serum and urine. We have studied 3 patients in 2 families with severe, apparent mineralocorticoid excess and other family members in terms of their genetic, biochemical, and clinical parameters, as well as normal controls. Two brothers were homozygous for an A328V mutation and the third patient was homozygous for an R213C mutation in the 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 gene; both mutations caused a marked reduction in the activity of the encoded enzymes in transfection assays. The steroid profiles of the 7 heterozygotes and 2 other family members studied were completely normal. The results of a novel assay used to distinguish 5alpha- and 5beta-tetrahydrometabolites suggest that 5beta-reductase activity is reduced or inhibited in apparent mineralocorticoid excess. In 1 patient undergoing renal dialysis for chronic renal insufficiency, direct control of salt and water balance completely corrected the hypertension, emphasizing the importance of mineralocorticoid action in this syndrome. (+info)
Mutants of 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (11-HSD2) with partial activity: improved correlations between genotype and biochemical phenotype in apparent mineralocorticoid excess.
Mutations in the kidney isozyme of human 11-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (11-HSD2) cause apparent mineralocorticoid excess, an autosomal recessive form of familial hypertension. We studied 4 patients with AME, identifying 4 novel and 3 previously reported mutations in the HSD11B2 (HSD11K) gene. Point mutations causing amino acid substitutions were introduced into a pCMV5/11HSD2 expression construct and expressed in mammalian CHOP cells. Mutations L179R and R208H abolished activity in whole cells. Mutants S180F, A237V, and A328V had 19%, 72%, and 25%, respectively, of the activity of the wild-type enzyme in whole cells when cortisol was used as the substrate and 80%, 140%, and 55%, respectively, of wild-type activity when corticosterone was used as the substrate. However, these mutant proteins were only 0.6% to 5.7% as active as the wild-type enzyme in cell lysates, suggesting that these mutations alter stability of the enzyme. In regression analyses of all AME patients with published genotypes, several biochemical and clinical parameters were highly correlated with mutant enzymatic activity, demonstrated in whole cells, when cortisol was used as the substrate. These included the ratio of urinary cortisone to cortisol metabolites (R(2)=0.648, P<0.0001), age at presentation (R(2)=0.614, P<0.0001), and birth weight (R(2)=0.576, P=0.0004). Approximately 5% conversion of cortisol to cortisone is predicted in subjects with mutations that completely inactivate HSD11B2, suggesting that a low level of enzymatic activity is mediated by another enzyme, possibly 11-HSD1. (+info)
Steroid disorders in children: congenital adrenal hyperplasia and apparent mineralocorticoid excess.
Our research team and laboratories have concentrated on two inherited endocrine disorders, congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) and apparent mineralocorticoid excess, in thier investigations of the pathophysiology of adrenal steroid hormone disorders in children. CAH refers to a family of inherited disorders in which defects occur in one of the enzymatic steps required to synthesize cortisol from cholesterol in the adrenal gland. Because of the impaired cortisol secretion, adrenocorticotropic hormone levels rise due to impairment of a negative feedback system, which results in hyperplasia of the adrenal cortex. The majority of cases is due to 21-hydroxylase deficiency (21-OHD). Owing to the blocked enzymatic step, cortisol precursors accumulate in excess and are converted to potent androgens, which are secreted and cause in utero virilization of the affected female fetus genitalia in the classical form of CAH. A mild form of the 21-OHD, termed nonclassical 21-OHD, is the most common autosomal recessive disorder in humans, and occurs in 1/27 Ashkenazic Jews. Mutations in the CYP21 gene have been identified that cause both classical and nonclassical CAH. Apparent mineralocorticoid excess is a potentially fatal genetic disorder causing severe juvenile hypertension, pre- and postnatal growth failure, and low to undetectable levels of potassium, renin, and aldosterone. It is caused by autosomal recessive mutations in the HSD11B2 gene, which result in a deficiency of 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2. In 1998, we reported a mild form of this disease, which may represent an important cause of low-renin hypertension. (+info)
Regulation of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in rat renal cortex by adrenal glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids.
Production of prostaglandins involved in renal salt and water homeostasis is modulated by regulated expression of the inducible form of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) at restricted sites in the rat renal cortex. Because inflammatory COX-2 is suppressed by glucocorticoids, and prostaglandin levels in the kidney are sensitive to steroids, the sensitivity of COX expression to adrenalectomy (ADX) was investigated. By 2 weeks after ADX in mature rats, cortical COX-2 immunoreactivity increased 10-fold in the cortical thick ascending limb and macula densa. The constitutive isoform, COX-1, was unchanged. The magnitude of the changes and specificity of COX-2 immunoreactivity were validated by in situ hybridization histochemistry of COX-2 mRNA and Western blot analysis. Increased COX-2 activity (>5-fold) was documented by using a specific COX-2 inhibitor. The COX-2 up-regulation in ADX rats was reversed by replacement therapy with either corticosterone or deoxycorticosterone acetate. In normal rats, inhibition of glucocorticoid receptors with RU486 or mineralocorticoid receptors with spironolactone caused up-regulation of renal cortical COX-2. These results indicate that COX-2 expression in situ is tonically inhibited by adrenal steroids, and COX-2 is regulated by mineralocorticoids as well as glucocorticoids. (+info)
Steroid hormone receptor expression and action in bone.
The skeleton is a complex tissue, and hormonal control of bone remodelling is elaborate. The important role that steroid hormones play in bone cell development and in the maintenance of normal bone architecture is well established, but it is only relatively recently that it has become possible to describe their precise mechanism of action. This review focuses not only on the steroid hormones (oestrogens, corticosteroids, androgens and progesterone), but also on related hormones (vitamin D, thyroid hormone and the retinoids), all of which act via structurally homologous nuclear receptors that form part of the steroid/thyroid receptor superfamily. By examining the actions of all of these hormones in vivo and in vitro, this review gives a general overview of the current understanding of steroid hormone action in bone. In addition, a comprehensive review of steroid hormone receptor expression in bone cells is included. Finally, the role that future developments, such as steroid hormone receptor knockout mice, will play in our understanding of steroid hormone action in bone is considered. (+info)