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Molecular Endocrinology

Year: 2009  |  Volume: 23  |  Issue: 9  |  Page No.: 1360 - 1370

Structural and Functional Characterization of the Interdomain Interaction in the Mineralocorticoid Receptor

J. B Pippal, Y Yao, F. M Rogerson and P. J. Fuller


The mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) plays a central role in electrolyte homeostasis and in cardiovascular disease. We have previously reported a ligand-dependent N/C-interaction in the MR. In the present study we sought to fully characterize the MR N/C-interaction. By using a range of natural and synthetic MR ligands in a mammalian two-hybrid assay we demonstrate that in contrast to aldosterone, which strongly induces the interaction, the physiological ligands deoxycorticosterone and cortisol weakly promote the interaction but predominantly inhibit the aldosterone-mediated N/C-interaction. Similarly, progesterone and dexamethasone antagonize the interaction. In contrast, the synthetic agonist 9-fludrocortisol robustly induces the interaction. The ability of the N/C interaction to discriminate between MR agonists suggests a subtle conformational difference in the ligand-binding domain induced by these agonists. We also demonstrate that the N/C interaction is not cell specific, consistent with the evidence from a glutathione-S-transferase pull-down assay, of a direct protein-protein interaction between the N- and C-terminal domains of the MR. Examination of a panel of deletions in the N terminus suggests that several regions may be critical to the N/C-interaction. These studies have identified functional differences between physiological MR ligands, which suggest that the ligand-specific dependence of the N/C-interaction may contribute to the differential activation of the MR that has been reported in vivo.

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