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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Ciona intestinalis nuclear receptor 1: a member of steroid/thyroid hormone receptor family.

Nuclear hormone receptors comprise a large family of zinc finger transcription factors, some with hydrophobic ligands, such as thyroid hormone, vitamin D, steroids, etc., and others for which no ligand has been found. Thyroid hormone receptors (TRs) generally are considered to be confined to the vertebrata that possess a thyroid gland. Tunicates represent the most primitive of the chordates, and there are data supporting a role for thyroid hormone in their metamorphosis, but no data are available on TRs in this genus; hence, we have studied Ciona intestinalis. Screening of a Ciona library with the DNA binding domain of Xenopus laevis TR (xTR) resulted in the isolation of a nuclear hormone receptor, C. intestinalis nuclear receptor 1 (CiNR1). CiNR1 is similar to TRs of more evolved species with a conserved DNA binding domain whereas the ligand binding domain shows poor homology to vertebrate sequences. The C-terminal part of CiNR1 spans approximately 200 amino acids more than other TRs, lacks the AF2 transactivation domain, and is not able to bind triiodothyronine. Phylogenetically, CiNR1 appears to be close to the common ancestral gene of TRs. Expression of CiNR1 was limited to the developing embryo and the larval stage, which suggests a role during development and metamorphosis. In transfection experiments, CiNR1 down-regulated basal transcription of a reporter gene driven by the TR palindrome responsive element. When CiNR1 was cotransfected with chicken TRalpha, it attenuated the normal thyroid hormone response in a dominant negative fashion. This attenuation required the C-terminal portion of the molecule.[1]


  1. Ciona intestinalis nuclear receptor 1: a member of steroid/thyroid hormone receptor family. Carosa, E., Fanelli, A., Ulisse, S., Di Lauro, R., Rall, J.E., Jannini, E.A. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1998) [Pubmed]
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