Research ArticleSteroid Hormones

Transcriptional activation of elephant shark mineralocorticoid receptor by corticosteroids, progesterone, and spironolactone

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Science Signaling  04 Jun 2019:
Vol. 12, Issue 584, eaar2668
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aar2668

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Expanding mineralocorticoid functions

Mineralocorticoid receptors (MRs) belong to the nuclear receptor family of transcription factors. Aldosterone is a physiological ligand for the human MR, which is best known for regulating electrolyte homeostasis. Noting that the MR first arose in cartilaginous fish, which do not have aldosterone, Katsu et al. examined the binding and activity profiles of a range of corticosteroids and steroid hormones for the MR of the elephant shark, a cartilaginous fish found in the oldest group of jawed vertebrates. These studies suggest that elephant shark MR is activated by progesterone, which acts as an antagonist of the human MR. Given the abundance of the MR in elephant shark ovaries and testis, these findings suggest that the MR may play an unappreciated role in reproductive physiology.

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