Steroid Hormone

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Steroids make up one of the three classes of hormones based on chemical structure. They are lipophilic and act on intracellular receptors in order to regulate gene transcription and trigger a cell response. Unlike peptide hormones, steroids are produced on demand from cholesterol and released immediately following synthesis. As a result, steroid producing cells will often contain large quantities of esterified cholesterol[1]

Actions on Receptors

Steroids will bind to a hormone binding site which prevents an inhibitory binding complex from attactching to a specific DNA  binding domain. As a result, the DNA binding site is exposed which triggers the transciption activating domain and thus alters gene transcription.


  1. Alberts B, Johnson A, Lewis J, Morgan D, Raff M, Roberts K, Walter P. Molecular Biology of The Cell, 6th ed. New York: Garland Science; 2015.p875-876

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