Co-activators and co-repressors in the integration of transcriptional responses

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 1998 Jun;10(3):373-83. doi: 10.1016/s0955-0674(98)80014-8.


The nuclear hormone receptors are DNA binding transcription factors that are regulated by binding of ligands, switching them from an inactive or repressive state to gene-activating functions. Recent evidence supports the hypothesis that many nuclear receptors switch, in a ligand-dependent manner, between binding of a multicomponent co-repressor complex containing histone deacetyltransferase activity, and binding of a co-activator complex containing factors with histone acetyltransferase activity that are further regulated by diverse signal transduction pathways. The identification of these limiting co-repressor and co-activator complexes and their specific interaction motifs, in concert with solution of the structures of the receptor ligand-binding domain in apo (empty) and ligand bound forms, indicates a common molecular mechanism by which these factors activate and repress gene transcription.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acetyltransferases / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Histone Acetyltransferases
  • Histone Deacetylases / metabolism
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / physiology
  • Repressor Proteins / physiology*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins*
  • Trans-Activators / physiology*
  • Transcription, Genetic / physiology*


  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Trans-Activators
  • Acetyltransferases
  • Histone Acetyltransferases
  • Histone Deacetylases