The glucocorticoid receptor (GR) is an evolutionally conserved nuclear receptor superfamily protein that mediates the diverse actions of glucocorticoids as a ligand-dependent transcription factor. This receptor is a protein that shuttles from the cytoplasm to the nucleus upon binding to its ligand glucocorticoid hormone, where it modulates the transcription rates of glucocorticoid-responsive genes positively or negatively. Tremendous efforts have been made to reveal the molecular signaling actions of the GR, including intracellular shuttling, transcriptional regulation and interaction with other intracellular signaling pathways.
Glucocorticoids are essential for both maintenance of the resting state and the stress response, and are pivotal in the treatment of many disorders, including autoimmune, inflammatory, allergic, and lymphoproliferative diseases. Thus, pathologic or therapeutic implications of the GR, including genetic alterations in the human GR gene, disease-associated GR regulatory molecules, and development of GR ligands with selective GR actions, are of great importance.
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