Steroid receptor signalling in the brain - Lessons learned from molecular imaging

Mitsuhiro Kawata, M. Nishi, K. Matsuda, H. Sakamoto, N. Kaku, M. Masugi-Tokita, K. Fujikawa, Y. Hirahara-Wada, K. Takanami, H. Mori

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Studies with green fluorescent protein (GFP) have revealed the subcellular distribution of many steroid hormone receptors to be much more dynamic than previously thought. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) and fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) are powerful techniques with which to examine protein-protein interaction and the mobility of tagged proteins, respectively. FRET analysis revealed that steroid treatment (with corticosterone or testosterone) induces direct interaction of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and importin α in the cytoplasm and that, shortly after nuclear entry, the GR detaches from importin α. The mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) and androgen receptor (AR) show the same trafficking. Upon oestradiol treatment, ERα and ERβ in the same cell are relocalised to form a discrete pattern and are localised in the same discrete cluster (subnuclear foci). FRAP analysis showed that nuclear ERα and ERβ are most dynamic and mobile in the absence of the ligand, and that mobility decreases slightly after ligand treatment. Genomic as well as non-genomic actions of steroid hormones influence the cellular function of target tissues spacio-temporally.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)673-676
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Neuroendocrinology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Genomic action
  • Green fluorescent protein
  • Non-genomic action
  • Steroid hormone receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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