Role of chaperones in nuclear translocation and transactivation of steroid receptors

Endocrine. 2001 Mar;14(2):143-9. doi: 10.1385/ENDO:14:2:143.


Molecular chaperones assist proteins to reach their mature and functional conformation. It has become apparent in recent years that chaperones function as part of a multiprotein heterocomplex that is potentially involved not only in protein folding, but also in intracellular trafficking and in targeting proteins for degradation. In the case of steroid receptors, the activity of the chaperone heterocomplex, as well as the proteins comprising the heterocomplex, has an effect on the observed ligand-dependent transcriptional activity of the receptor. The direct interaction between chaperones and steroid receptors makes them potential therapeutic targets in a number of pathologic conditions. In the case of cancers with steroid receptor involvement, such as breast and prostate cancer, the inhibition of chaperone activity may inhibit tumor cell growth. Conversely, enhancement of chaperone activity may be beneficial in disorders of protein misfolding, as in the case of androgen receptor aggregates found in Spinal and Bulbar Muscular Atrophy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biological Transport
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Chaperones / physiology*
  • Proteins / metabolism
  • Receptors, Steroid / genetics
  • Receptors, Steroid / metabolism*
  • Transcriptional Activation*


  • Molecular Chaperones
  • Proteins
  • Receptors, Steroid