Analyses of steroid receptors are important for understanding molecular details of transcriptional control, as well as providing insight as to how an individual transacting factor contributes to cell identity and function. These studies have led to the identification of a superfamily of regulatory proteins that include receptors for thyroid hormone and the vertebrate morphogen retinoic acid. Although animals employ complex and often distinct ways to control their physiology and development, the discovery of receptor-related molecules in a wide range of species suggests that mechanisms underlying morphogenesis and homeostasis may be more ubiquitous than previously expected.
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