The human glucocorticoid receptor: Molecular basis of biologic function

Nicolas C. Nicolaides, Zoi Galata, Tomoshige Kino, George P. Chrousos, Evangelia Charmandari

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

255 Citations (Scopus)


The characterization of the subfamily of steroid hormone receptors has enhanced our understanding of how a set of hormonally derived lipophilic ligands controls cellular and molecular functions to influence development and help achieve homeostasis. The glucocorticoid receptor (GR), the first member of this subfamily, is a ubiquitously expressed intracellular protein, which functions as a ligand-dependent transcription factor that regulates the expression of glucocorticoid-responsive genes. The effector domains of the GR mediate transcriptional activation by recruiting coregulatory multi-subunit complexes that remodel chromatin, target initiation sites, and stabilize the RNA-polymerase II machinery for repeated rounds of transcription of target genes. This review summarizes the basic aspects of the structure and actions of the human (h) GR, and the molecular basis of its biologic functions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010



  • Generalized glucocorticoid resistance
  • Human glucocorticoid receptor (hGR)
  • Mutations in the hGR gene
  • Polymorphisms of the hGR gene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology
  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

Cite this

Nicolaides, N. C., Galata, Z., Kino, T., Chrousos, G. P., & Charmandari, E. (2010). The human glucocorticoid receptor: Molecular basis of biologic function. Steroids, 75(1), 1-12.