16 alpha-substituted analogs of the antiprogestin RU486 induce a unique conformation in the human progesterone receptor resulting in mixed agonist activity.
Previously, we have shown that agonists and antagonists interact with distinct, though overlapping regions within the human progesterone receptor (hPR) resulting in the formation of structurally different complexes. Thus, a link was established between the structure of a ligand-receptor complex and biological activity. In this study, we have utilized a series of in vitro assays with which to study hPR pharmacology and have identified a third class of hPR ligands that induce a receptor conformation which is distinct from that induced by agonists or antagonists. Importantly, when assayed on PR-responsive target genes these compounds were shown to exhibit partial agonist activity; an activity that was influenced by cell context. Thus, as has been shown previously for estrogen receptor, the overall structure of the ligand-receptor complex is influenced by the nature of the ligand. It appears, therefore, that the observed differences in the activity of some PR and estrogen receptor ligands reflect the ability of the cellular transcription machinery to discriminate between the structurally different complexes that result following ligand interaction. These data support the increasingly favored hypothesis that different ligands can interact with different regions within the hormone binding domains of steroid hormone receptors resulting in different biologies.
Wagner, BL; Pollio, G; Leonhardt, S; Wani, MC; Lee, DY; Imhof, MO; Edwards, DP; Cook, CE; McDonnell, DP
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