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Your Environment. Your Health.

Molecular Endocrinology Group

Glucocorticoid Receptors and the Immune System

John A. Cidlowski, Ph.D.
John A. Cidlowski, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator
Chief, Signal Transduction Laboratory
Tel (919) 541-1564
Fax (919) 541-1367
P.O. Box 12233
Mail Drop F3-07
Research Triangle Park, North Carolina 27709
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The illustration depicts an overview of the research performed by members of Molecular Endocrinology

Research Summary

Steroid hormones regulate tissue-specific gene expression in animals via receptor dependent intracellular signal transduction pathways. These receptors, when activated by the appropriate ligands, both activate and repress the transcription of subsets of genes in target cells, which results in altered gene expression and altered cellular function. The Molecular Endocrinology Group is particularly interested in glucocorticoid receptors and their actions on the immune system because they reflect the primary response to environmental stress.


A second major interest of the laboratory focuses on evaluating the mechanisms involved in the regulation of apoptosis in normal and neoplastic cells. Research is aimed at the identification and cloning of genes that are responsible for both the initiation and execution of apoptosis.


Major areas of research:

  • Glucocorticoid receptors and their actions on the inflammatory response
  • Regulation of apoptosis in normal and neoplastic cells
  • Animal models for studying glucocorticoid actions


Current projects:

  • Mutual interference of signaling between the glucocorticoid receptor and NF-κB
  • The role of glucocorticoid receptor phosphorylation in signal transduction
  • The transcriptional and translational regulation of glucocorticoid receptor gene expression
  • The involvement of the glucocorticoid receptors in inflammation and innate immunity
  • Evaluation of the role of RNA turnover in apoptosis
  • Cloning novel inhibitors of apoptosis
  • The role of cell volume regulation and ion channels in apoptosis
  • Defining how glucocorticoid activate and inhibit apoptosis in cancer cells


John A. Cidlowski, Ph.D., heads the Molecular Endocrinology Group within the Laboratory of Signal Transduction (LST), and is Chief of the LST.  He received his Ph.D. in 1975 from Medical College of Georgia in Endocrinology.  He has published over 250 peer-reviewed articles in leading biomedical journals, as well as several book chapters.  He served as Professor of Physiology and Biochemistry at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before joining the NIEHS in 1995.

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