Architectural principles for the structure and function of the glucocorticoid receptor τ1 core activation domain

Anette Wärnmark, Jan Åke Gustafsson, Anthony P.H. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


A 58-amino acid region mediates the core transactivation activity of the glucocorticoid receptor τ1 activation domain. This τ1 core domain is unstructured in aqueous buffers, but in the presence of trifluoroethanol three α-helical segments are induced. Two of these putative structural modules have been tested in different combinations with regard to transactivation potential in vivo and binding capacity to the coactivators in vitro. The results show that whereas single modules are not transcriptionally active, any combination of two or three modules is sufficient, with trimodular constructs having the highest activity. However, proteins containing one, two, or three segments bind Ada2 and cAMP-response element- binding protein with similar affinity. A single segment is thus able to bind a target factor but cannot transactivate target genes significantly. The results are consistent with models in which activation domains are comprised of short activation modules that allow multiple interactions with coactivators. Our results also suggest that an increased number of modules may not result in correspondingly higher affinity but instead that the concentration of binding sites is increased, which gives rise to a higher association rate. This is consistent with a model where the association rate for activator-target factor interactions rather than the equilibrium constant is the most relevant measure of activator potency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15014-15018
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number20
StatePublished - May 19 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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