Steroid and Thyroid Hormones
Cytoplasmic receptors for steroids are proteins with two subunits that bind to the steroid molecules. When both receptor sites are occupied by the steroid then the receptor-steroid complex migrates to the nucleus where one subunit ensures that the complex binds to the specific site on the chromatin. Then the receptor subunits separate and the other subunit interact directly with the adjacent region of DNA molecule resulting in the transcription of the DNA segment into mRNA.
Thyroid hormone acts in a similar manner except that the receptor is located in the nucleus. The major hormone secreted by thyroid is thyroxine (T4). It travels in blood attached to carrier proteins. Thyroid also secretes a small amount of triiodothyronine (T3). Carrier proteins have higher affinity for T4 and very little T4 is free in the plasma. Only the free T4 and T3 enter the cells. The rest of the bound T4 acts as a reservoir for slow release. The free T4 that enters the cell s also converted to T3 enzymatically. Therefore, T3 is the chemically more potent and active form of thyroid hormone.
Figure:Steroid and Thyroid Hormones