Nuclear hormone receptors (NRs) are evolutionarily conserved ligand-dependent transcription factors. They are essential for human life, mediating the actions of lipophilic molecules, such as steroid hormones and metabolites of fatty acid, cholesterol, and external toxic compounds. The C2H2-type zinc finger proteins (ZNFs) form the largest family of the transcription factors in humans and are characterized by multiple, tandemly arranged zinc fingers. Many of the C2H2-type ZNFs are conserved throughout evolution, suggesting their involvement in preserved biological activities, such as general transcriptional regulation and development/differentiation of organs/tissues observed in the early embryonic phase. However, some C2H2-type ZNFs, such as those with the Krüppel-associated box (KRAB) domain, appeared relatively late in evolution and have significantly increased family members in mammals including humans, possibly modulating their complicated transcriptional network and/or supporting the morphological development/functions specific to them. Such evolutional characteristics of the C2H2-type ZNFs indicate that these molecules influence the NR functions conserved through evolution, whereas some also adjust them to meet with specific needs of higher organisms. We review the interaction between NRs and C2H2-type ZNFs by focusing on some of the latter molecules.
- and Bric-a-brac (BTB)/poxvirus and zinc finger (POZ)
- Krüppel-associated box (KRAB)
- noncoding RNA
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