Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications vol:295 issue:2 pages:469-74
Transfection experiments, a powerful tool to study the function of steroid hormone receptors and their coregulators, are often performed in COS-7 cells, because of high transfection efficiencies and expression levels. Here we report on the presence in COS-7 cells of an endogenous steroid hormone receptor, which is highly responsive to progesterone and the synthetic steroids R1881 and ORG2058, but not to 5 alpha-DHT. A 10-fold excess of the progesterone antagonist RU486 abolishes the stimulation by progesterone, while cotransfection with the coactivator TIF2 increases its activity 6- to 7-fold. A comparison of the ligand specificity with transfected androgen or progesterone receptors indicates that the endogenous receptor is a progesterone receptor. Its presence is confirmed by steroid-binding experiments, RT-PCR and Northern blot analysis. Consequently, progesterone receptor function may be studied conveniently in COS-7 cells without cotransfection of receptor, but the endogenous receptor may interfere in studies of ligand specificity and coactivation of cotransfected receptors.