Glucocorticoids are steroid hormones produced by the adrenal cortex that increase the transcription of several genes important in carbohydrate and protein metabolism. Because they are uncharged and relatively nonpolar, steroid hormones can pass through the plasma membrane by simple diffusion to enter the cytosol. Here they encounter a class of transcription factors that have a binding site for steroid hormones and are therefore called steroid hormone receptors (Fig. 6.16). In the absence of glucocorticoid hormone, its receptor remains skeletal muscle
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