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Nuclear receptors are a class of proteins found within cells that are responsible for sensing steroid and thyroid hormones and certain other molecules. In response, these receptors work with other proteins to regulate the expression of specific genes, thereby controlling the development, homeostasis, and metabolism of the organism. Nuclear receptors have the ability to directly bind to DNA and regulate the expression of adjacent genes, hence these receptors are classified as transcription factors. More specifically, ligand binding to a nuclear receptor results in a conformational change in the receptor, which, in turn, activates the receptor, resulting in up-regulation or down-regulation of gene expression.
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