Nuclear receptors (NRs) are transcription factors whose activity is modulated by ligand binding. These receptors are at the core of complex signaling pathways and act as integrators of many cellular signals. In the last decade our understanding of NRs has greatly evolved. In particular, regulation of NR subcellular dynamics has emerged as central to their activity. Research on the subcellular distribution of the thyroid hormone receptor (TR) has revealed new dimensions in the complexity of NR regulation, and points to the possibility that NR mislocalization plays a key role in oncogenesis. For many years, TR was thought to reside exclusively in the nucleus. It is now known that TR is a dynamic protein that shuttles between the nucleus and cytoplasm. TR is localized to the nucleus in a phosphorylated form, suggesting that compartment-specific phosphorylation mediates cross-talk between multiple cell signaling pathways. The oncoprotein v-ErbA, a viral-derived dominant negative variant of TR is actively exported to the cytoplasm by the CRM1 export receptor. Strikingly, the oncoprotein causes mislocalization of cellular TR and some of its coactivators by direct interaction. Here, we offer some perspectives on the role of subcellular trafficking in the oncogenic conversion of TR, and propose a new model for oncoprotein dominant negative activity.
Nuclear Receptor Signaling
Bonamy, G.M., Allison, L.A. (2006) Oncogenic conversion of the thyroid hormone receptor. Nuclear Receptor Signalling 4, e0008 (invited review).