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A hormone response element (HRE) is a response element for hormones, a short sequence of DNA within the promoter of a gene that is able to bind a specific hormone receptor complex and therefore regulate transcription.[1] The sequence is most commonly a pair of inverted repeats separated by three nucleotides, which also indicates that the receptor binds as a dimer.

A gene may have many different response elements, allowing complex control to be exerted over the level and rate of transcription.[2]


The glucocorticoid response element ("GRE") is "5'-GGTACAnnnTGTTCT-3'". The "n"s refer to positions that don't require a specific nucleotide for binding.[3]

This GRE is shared with mineralocorticoids, progesterone, and androgens, but not estrogen.

Another example is:

  • E-box


  1. Steroid Hormone Receptors and their Response Elements. URL accessed on 2006-11-09.
  2. Monty Krieger; Matthew P Scott; Matsudaira, Paul T.; Lodish, Harvey F.; Darnell, James E.; Lawrence Zipursky; Kaiser, Chris; Arnold Berk (2003). Molecular Cell Biology, Fifth Edition, 973 pages, San Francisco: W. H. Freeman.
  3. Mechanism of Action: Hormones with Intracellular Receptors

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