What is it about?

This review addresses the mechanisms that control Nur77 as well as its known roles in inflammation-related lung diseases. Evidence regarding the therapeutic potential of Nur77-targeting molecules will also be presented.

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Why is it important?

The transcription factor Nur77 belongs to the NR4A subfamily of nuclear hormone receptors. It features an atypical ligand-binding site that precludes canonical ligand binding, leading to the designation orphan nuclear receptor. However, recent studies show that small molecules can interact with the receptor and modulate its activity by inducing a conformational change in the Nur77 ligand-binding site. Nur77 expression and activation are rapidly induced by various physiological and pathologic stimuli. Once expressed, Nur77 initiates transcriptional activity and modulates expression of its target genes. Both in vitro and in vivo evidence shows that Nur77 dampens the immune response to proinflammatory stimuli, such as tumor necrosis factor-α, Toll-like receptor ligands, and oxidized lipids, primarily by suppressing NF-κB signaling. Although studies focusing on Nur77's role in lung pathophysiology are currently incomplete, available data support its involvement in the pathogenesis of lung diseases, including asthma, acute lung injury, and pulmonary fibrosis, and thus suggest a therapeutic potential for Nur77 activation in these diseases.


Although current knowledge is limited, additional research followed by clinical studies may firmly identify Nur77 as a pharmacologic target for inflammation-related lung diseases.

Aravind Reddy Tarugu
University of Pittsburgh

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Key Functions and Therapeutic Prospects of Nur77 in Inflammation Related Lung Diseases, American Journal Of Pathology, March 2019, Elsevier,
DOI: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2018.10.002.
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