To exert their action at the genome, steroids must traverse the nuclear envelope, either alone or complexed to their receptor. Our previous studies identified two classes of dexamethasone-binding sites on male rat liver nuclear envelopes: a low capacity, high affinity site and a high capacity, low affinity site. The affinity reagent, [3H]dexarnethasone mesylate, labeled peptides at 35-85 kDa, which may be the low affinity glucocorticoid-binding peptides, as these peptides showed the same response to hormonal manipulation as the low affinity [3H] dexamethasone-binding sites previously characterized. With dexamethasone mesylate and a monoclonal antibody against the glucorticoid receptor, we have confirmed that the high affinity binding site on the nuclear envelope is the glucocorticoid receptor. Affinity labeling revealed the presence of a doublet of peptides at 85 and 110 kDa, in the same mol wt range as that reported for the glucocorticoid receptor. Furthermore, these affinity-labeled peptides responded to hormonal manipulation like nuclear glucocorticoid receptors. The monoclonal antibody identified a doublet of peptides, a major component of 92-94 kDa and a minor component of 98 kDa. Again, both peptides responded to hormonal manipulation like nuclear glucocorticoid receptors. The nuclear envelope-associated glucocorticoid receptor is not extracted by 0.1 M NaCl or 1% Triton X-100. These results show that glucocorticoid hormone interacts with the nuclear envelope via binding to the transformed glucocorticoid receptor, lending support to the two-step model of steroid hormone action.
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