Have you ever attended a residents’ meeting? Have you ever taken part in a debate or in a vote involving tens or hundreds of people? Reaching an agreement is not an easy matter.
Our body is made up of millions of cells, yet we manage to live. This joint action requires continuous and controlled communication between different organs, tissues, and cells. The first thing that comes to mind when we talk about communication within our body is the nervous system. However, cells also communicate through chemical signals. The key chemical products in this communication are hormones: molecules secreted by cells that trigger different responses when they reach other cells.
Okay, hormones are the signals… but who decodes these signals? Cells have proteins that recognize these signals and “decode” them, and they are also in charge of starting the execution of programs connected to these hormones.
These antennas and DTTV decoders are proteins that receive signals, and they are located in the nucleus; it is only logical that they are called nuclear receptors.
The importance of nuclear receptors goes beyond their essential function as receptors of endogenous hormones: many drugs carry out their function through these proteins.
Therefore, the study of nuclear receptors, their structure, and the processes that they trigger or that regulate their activity is a fascinating field that encompasses topics as important and different as inflammation, diabetes, tumor progression and metastasis, stem cells, the effects of bisphenol A, regenerative medicine, etc.