Subcellular distribution of the glucocorticoid receptor and evidence for its association with microtubules

Gunnar Akner, Ann Charlotte Wikström, Jan Åke Gustafsson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


The cellular distribution of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) has not yet been firmly established. The extensive literature indicates that GR is present both in the cytoplasm and the cell nucleus, however, some studies have failed to detect cytoplasmic GR. It is still controversial as to whether GR is randomly diffusing in the cytoplasm and nucleus, or if the GR-distribution is organized or controlled in some way, which may be of importance for the transduction of glucocorticoid effects to cells. There is evidence that both non-activated and activated GR is associated with the plasma membrane, a number of cytoplasmic organelles and the nucleus. Both morphological and biochemical evidence show that GR is associated with microtubules during different stages of the cell cycle, i.e. GR co-localizes, co-purifies and co-polymerizes with tubulin. This indicates that GR is structurally linked to the intracellular MT-network which may be of importance in the mechanism of action of glucocorticoid hormones. The literature in this field is reviewed including the reported data on subcellular GR-localization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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