Helsingin yliopisto


Helsingin yliopiston verkkojulkaisut

University of Helsinki, Helsinki 2006

Androgen receptor in transcriptional regulation and carcinogenesis

Zhigang Kang

Doctoral dissertation, July 2006.
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Biomedicine.

Androgens control a variety of developmental processes that create the male phenotype and are important for maintaining male fertility and normal functions of tissues and organs that are not directly involved in procreation. Androgen receptor (AR) that mediates the biological actions of androgens is a member of the nuclear receptor superfamily of ligand-inducible transcription factors. Although AR was cloned over 15 years ago, the mechanisms by which it regulates gene expression are not well understood. A growing body of in vitro experimental evidence suggests that a complex network of proteins is involved in the androgen-dependent transcriptional regulation. However, the process of AR-dependent transcriptional regulation under physiological conditions is largely elusive. In the present study, a series of experiments were performed, including quantitative chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays, to investigate AR-mediated transcription process using living prostate cancer cells. Our results show that the loading of AR and recruitment of coactivators and RNA polymerase II (Pol II) to both the promoter and enhancer of AR target genes are a transient and cyclic event that in addition to hyperacetylation, also involves dynamic changes in methylation, phosphorylation of core histone H3 in androgen-treated LNCaP cells. The dynamics of testosterone (T)-induced loading of AR onto the proximal promoters of the genes clearly differed from that loaded onto the distal enhancers. Significantly, more holo-AR was loaded onto the enhancers than the promoters, but the principal Pol II transcription complex was assembled on the promoters. By contrast, the pure antiandrogen bicalutamide (CDX) complexed to AR elicited occupancy of the PSA promoter, but was unable to load onto the PSA enhancer and was incapable of recruiting Pol II, coactivators and following changes of covalent histone modifications. The partial antagonist cyproterone acetate (CPA) and mifepristone (RU486) were capable of promoting AR loading onto both the PSA promoter and enhancer at a comparable efficiency with androgen in LNCaP cells expressing mutant AR. However, CPA- and RU486-bound AR not only recruited Pol II and coactivator p300 and GRIP1 onto the promoter and enhancer, but also recruited the corepressor NCoR onto the promoter as efficiently as CDX. In addition, we demonstrate that both proteasome and protein kinases are implicated in AR-mediated transcription. Even though proteasome inhibitor MG132 and protein kinase inhibitor DRB (5, 6-Dichlorobenzimidazole riboside) can block ligand-dependent accumulation of PSA mRNA with same efficiency, their use results in different molecular profiles in terms of the formation of AR-mediated transcriptional complex. Collectively, these results indicate that transcriptional activation by AR is a complicated process, which includes transient loading of holo-AR and recruitment of Pol II and coregulators accompanied by a cascade of distinct covalent histone modifications; This process involves both the promoter and enhancer elements, as well as other general components of the cell machineries e.g. proteasome and protein kinase; The pure antiandrogen CDX and the partial antagonist CPA and RU486 exhibit clearly different profiles in terms of their ability to induce the formation of AR-dependent transcriptional complexes and the histone modifications associated with the target genes in human prostate cancer cells. Finally, by using quantitative RT-PCR to compare the expression of sixteen AR co-regulators in prostate cancer cell lines, xenografts, and clinical prostate cancer specimens we suggest that AR co-regulators protein inhibitor of activated STAT1 (PIAS1) and steroid receptor coactivator 1(SRC1) could be involved in the progression of prostate cancer.

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Last updated 03.07.2006

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