Sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) is thought to mainly function as a transporter and reservoir for the estradiol and testosterone sex hormones. However it has also been demonstrated that SHBG can bind to a cell surface receptor (SHBG-R). The SHBG-R has not been completely characterized. A subset of steroids are able to bind to the SHBG/SHBG-R complex resulting in an activation of adenylyl cyclase and synthesis of the cAMP second messenger.  Hence the SHBG/SHBG-R complex appears to act as a transmembrane steroid receptor that is capable of transmitting signals to the interior of cells.
Steroid hormone receptors (SHRs) are notorious intracellular travellers, transiting among different cellular compartments as they mature, are subjected to regulation and exert their biological functions. Understanding the processes governing the intracellular traffic of SHRs is important, since their unbalanced or erroneous localization could lead to the development of diseases. In this review, we not only explore the functions of the heat-shock protein 90 (Hsp90) molecular chaperone machine for the intracellular transport of SHRs, but also for the regulation of their nuclear mobility, for their recycling and for the regulation of their transcriptional output.