Closely related transcription factors (TFs) can bind to the same response elements (REs) with similar affinities and activate transcription. However, it is unknown whether transcription is similarly orchestrated by different TFs bound at the same RE. Here we have compared the recovery half time (t1/2), binding site occupancy and the resulting temporal changes in transcription upon binding of two closely related steroid receptors, the androgen and glucocorticoid receptors (AR and GR), to their common hormone REs (HREs). We show that there are significant differences at all of these levels between AR and GR at the MMTV HRE when activated by their ligands. These data show that two TFs bound at the same RE can have significantly different modes of action that can affect their responses to environmental cues.
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