Nuclear hormone receptors (NHRs) represent a large and diverse family of ligand-activated transcription factors involved in regulating development, metabolic homeostasis, salt balance and reproductive health. The ligands for these receptors are typically small hydrophobic molecules such as steroid hormones, thyroid hormone, vitamin D3 and fatty acid derivatives. The first NHR structural information appeared approximately 20 years ago with the solution and crystal structures of the DNA binding domains and was followed by the structure of the agonist and antagonist bound ligand binding domains of different NHR members. Interestingly, in addition to these defined structural features, it has become clear that NHRs also possess significant structural plasticity. Thus, the dynamic structure of the NHRs was the topic of a recent stimulating and informative FASEB Summer Research Conference held in Vermont.
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