The progesterone receptor is a protein in the nucleus of certain cells to which progesterone (a female hormone) binds. This receptor is normally found on cells of the female reproductive system, the central nervous system, and elsewhere in the body.
The binding of progesterone with its receptor occurs thanks to the structural complementarity between the two molecules, as in a lock and key system. This binding leads to a series of chemical reactions that culminate in the expression of certain genes.
In the case of breast cancer, this expression translates into cell proliferation. Thus, it is said that breast cancer is dependent on female hormones for its development and progression, whenever there is expression of progesterone receptors. For this reason, hormone therapy is used in these cases.
To learn more about breast cancer, check the “Breast Cancer” section.
To learn more about hormone therapy, check the “Frequently Asked Questions – Hormone Therapy” section.