Control of nuclear receptor function by local chromatin structure

FEBS J. 2011 Jul;278(13):2211-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-4658.2011.08126.x. Epub 2011 May 26.


Steroid hormone receptors regulate gene transcription in a highly tissue-specific manner. The local chromatin structure underlying promoters and hormone response elements is a major component involved in controlling these highly restricted expression patterns. Chromatin remodeling complexes, as well as histone and DNA modifying enzymes, are directed to gene-specific regions and create permissive or repressive chromatin environments. These structures further enable proper communication between transcription factors, co-regulators and basic transcription machinery. The regulatory elements active at target genes can be either constitutively accessible to receptors or subject to rapid receptor-dependent modification. The chromatin states responsible for these processes are in turn determined during development and differentiation. Thus access of regulatory factors to elements in chromatin provides a major level of cell selective regulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromatin / physiology*
  • Chromatin / ultrastructure*
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Humans
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / physiology*


  • Chromatin
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear