The molecular basis of RU486 resistance in the tammar wallaby, Macropus eugenii

S. S. Lim-Tio, M.C. Keightley, T. P. Fletcher, P. J. Fuller

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RU486 acts as a potent anti-progestin in humans but does not antagonise progesterone action in the chicken or hamster reflecting a substitution in the ligand binding domain (LBD) of cysteine for glycine in both the chicken and the hamster progesterone receptor (PR), at the position corresponding to codon 722 of the human PR. The tammar wallaby, Macropus eugenii, is also resistant to the effects of RU486. Cloning of a partial cDNA of the PR in the tammar wallaby reveals a glycine to alanine substitution (gly 722 in the human PR), as well as a glutamine to histidine substitution two amino acids upstream of this alanine residue. Both the glycine and glutamine residues are substituted in all three resistant species. These substitutions are also found in the mineralocorticoid receptor, which also does not bind RU486, and suggest an important role for these residues in the formation of the 11-β pocket of the receptor, which accommodates the bulky side-chains of 11-β substituted steroids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-174
Number of pages6
JournalMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Progesterone receptor
  • RU486 resistance
  • Tammar wallaby

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