The role of progesterone signaling in the pathogenesis of uterine leiomyoma

J. Julie Kim*, Elizabeth C. Sefton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


Uterine leiomyomas are benign tumors that originate from the myometrium. Evidence points to ovarian steroid hormones, in particular, progesterone as major promoters of leiomyoma development and growth. While progesterone action in leiomyomas involves the classical nuclear receptor effects on gene regulation, there is growing evidence that signaling pathways are directly activated by the progesterone receptor (PR) and that PR can interact with growth factor signaling systems to promote proliferation and survival of leiomyomas. Studies investigating the genomic and non-genomic actions of PR and its role in leiomyoma growth are summarized here. Studies testing various selective progesterone receptor modulators for the treatment of leiomyomas are also highlighted. An increased understanding of the mechanisms associated with progesterone-driven growth of leiomyomas is critical in order to develop more efficient and targeted therapies for this prevalent disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)223-231
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 25 2012


  • Leiomyoma
  • Progesterone
  • Progesterone receptor
  • Uterine leiomyoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology

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