Molecular mechanism of steroid hormone action

Steroid hormones regulate many physiological processes ranging from the control of carbohydrate metabolism, body homeostasis, sexual development and differentiation to mediation of stress response. They function by prior interaction with their corresponding receptors and subsequent alteration of gene expression. Alterations in expression of specific genes resulting from malfunction of steroid hormone receptors lead in many cases to various physiological disorders.
The aim of this laboratory is to study the molecular action of steroid receptors in normal and pathophysiological situation with a view of identifying the causes of several hormone-controlled physiological defects.
The main topics being investigated at the moment are:

  • The molecular mechanism of the anti-inflammatory action of glucocorticoids.
  • Analysis of the molecular action of naturally occurring androgen receptors in patients with various forms of androgen insensitivity and Kennedy's disease.
  • Molecular action of the androgen receptor in prostate cancer.


Figure:  Confocal immunofluorescence picture showing colocalization of a liganded
lucocorticoid receptor with the chaperone Hsp70 in nuclei of COS-7 cells. The yellow
olour indicate the nuclei of the COS-7 cells containing liganded GFP-tagged human
lucocorticoid receptor (green florescence) and LDH-tagged human Hsp70 proteins
red fluorescence). Hsp70 not completely translocated into the nucleus by the receptor
an be identified in the cytoplasm by its red fluorescence label.