The characterization of the subfamily of steroid hormone receptors has enhanced our understanding of how a set of hormonally derived lipophilic ligands controls cellular and molecular functions to influence development and help achieve homeostasis. The glucocorticoid receptor (GR), the first member of this subfamily, is a ubiquitously expressed intracellular protein, which functions as a ligand-dependent transcription factor that regulates the expression of glucocorticoid-responsive genes. The effector domains of the GR mediate transcriptional activation by recruiting coregulatory multi-subunit complexes that remodel chromatin, target initiation sites, and stabilize the RNA-polymerase II machinery for repeated rounds of transcription of target genes. This review summarizes the basic aspects of the structure and actions of the human (h) GR, and the molecular basis of its biologic functions.
Scope of Review: This article reviews studies demonstrating that there is indeed mitochondrial dysfunction in islets in T2D, and that GWAS have identified a variant in the gene encoding transcription factor B1 mitochondrial ( TFB1M ), predisposing to T2D due to mitochondrial dysfunction and impaired insulin secretion. Mechanistic studies of the nature of this pathogenetic link, as well as of other mitochondrial transcription factors, are described. Major Conclusions: Based on this, it is argued that transcription and translation in mitochondria are critical processes determining mitochondrial function in β-cells in health and disease.
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