Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.374, No.2, 373-377, 2008
The role of calpains in ligand-induced degradation of the glucocorticoid receptor
The glucocorticoid receptor (GR) is a ligand-activated transcription factor that mediates the effects of glucocorticoids in diverse cellular processes, including homeostasis, stress response, and inflammation. Glucocorticoids induce clown-regulation of GR at both the mRNA and Protein levels, Causing reduced hormone responsiveness in response to long-term treatment with glucocorticoid. However, the mechanism involved in this process is still obscure. In this study, we examined whether calpain, a calcium-activated cysteine protease, is involved in ligand-stimulated degradation of GR. In COS-7 cells expressing the human GR, treatment with a calpain inhibitor abolished glucocorticoid-induced clown-regulation of GR in a dose dependent manner. The protein level of endogenous GR was also elevated by inhibition of the calpain activity in HeLa cells treated with glucocorticoid. Furthermore, glucocorticoid-induced transcriptional activation of GR was enhanced in cells treated with a calpain inhibitor. These results indicate that calpain is involved in ligand-dependent degradation of GR, thus causing reduced hormone responsiveness. (C) 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.