Nuclear receptors and chromatin: an inducible couple

    1. Luca Magnani
    1. Division of Cancer, Imperial Centre for Translational and Experimental Medicine, Imperial College London, London, W12 0NN, UK
    1. Correspondence should be addressed to L Magnani; Email: l.magnani{at}


    The nuclear receptor (NR) family comprises 48 transcription factors (TFs) with essential and diverse roles in development, metabolism and disease. Differently from other TFs, NRs engage with well-defined DNA-regulatory elements, mostly after ligand-induced structural changes. However, NR binding is not stochastic, and only a fraction of the cognate regulatory elements within the genome actively engage with NRs. In this review, we summarize recent advances in the understanding of the interactions between NRs and DNA. We discuss how chromatin accessibility and epigenetic modifications contribute to the recruitment and transactivation of NRs. Lastly, we present novel evidence of the interplay between non-coding RNA and NRs in the mediation of the assembly of the transcriptional machinery.

    • Revision received 28 November 2013
    • Accepted 19 December 2013
    • Made available online as an Accepted Preprint 20 December 2013
    | Table of Contents