Glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid receptors: biology and clinical relevance

Annu Rev Med. 1997:48:231-40. doi: 10.1146/


Mineralocorticoid and glucocorticoid receptors act as homodimers via canonical pentadecamer hormone response elements to regulate transcription. Glucocorticoid, but as yet not mineralocorticoid, receptors have been shown also to modulate AP-1- and NF kappa B-induced transcription by direct protein-protein interactions. The role of 11 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase in conferring aldosterone specificity on epithelial mineralocorticoid receptors has been proven by the demonstration of sequence mutations in all cases of apparent mineralocorticoid excess examined to date. The autosomal form of aldosterone resistance (pseudohypoaldosteronism) has been shown to reflect loss-of-function mutations in epithelial sodium channel subunit sequence. (Patho)physiological roles for aldosterone and glucocorticoid membrane receptors, and for the recently described nuclear receptors for 11-ketosteroids in 11 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydro-genase-protected epithelia, remain to be established.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aldosterone / physiology
  • Animals
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Gene Expression / physiology
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • NF-kappa B / genetics
  • Receptors, Glucocorticoid / genetics*
  • Receptors, Glucocorticoid / physiology
  • Receptors, Mineralocorticoid / genetics*
  • Receptors, Mineralocorticoid / physiology
  • Transcription Factor AP-1 / genetics


  • NF-kappa B
  • Receptors, Glucocorticoid
  • Receptors, Mineralocorticoid
  • Transcription Factor AP-1
  • Aldosterone