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J Biol Chem. 2002 Nov 1;277(44):41311-7. Epub 2002 Aug 9.

PIAS1 and PIASxalpha function as SUMO-E3 ligases toward androgen receptor and repress androgen receptor-dependent transcription.

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Division of Molecular Biology, School of Life Science, Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Science, 1432-1 Horinouchi, Hachioji, Japan.


The androgen receptor (AR) has been shown to be modified by SUMO-1, a ubiquitin-like protein. Recently we showed that PIAS family proteins function as SUMO-E3 ligases. Here we provide evidence that PIAS1 and PIASxalpha act as specific SUMO-E3 ligases for the AR. PIAS1 and PIASxalpha but not PIAS3 or PIASxbeta enhanced the sumoylation of AR in intact cells and in vitro. PIAS1 and PIASxalpha bound Ubc9, the E2 enzyme for SUMO-1, in a RING finger-like domain-dependent manner. Consistent with previous studies (Kahyo, T., Nishida, T., and Yasuda, H. (2001) Mol. Cell 8, 713-718), the RING finger-like domain of the SUMO-E3 was required for ligase activity. The binding of a ligand, e.g. testosterone, to the AR was required for the sumoylation of AR in intact cells. Although AR-dependent transcription was enhanced by PIAS proteins without sumoylation of the receptor, PIAS1 and PIASxalpha repressed AR-dependent transcription in a manner dependent on the ectopic expression of SUMO-1 and their RING finger-like domain. Furthermore, the sumoylation sites of the AR were necessary for the full repressive effect on AR-dependent transactivation, indicating that the sumoylation of AR was crucial for the repression of transactivation of the AR. Thus, PIAS1 and PIASxalpha modulate the AR-dependent transactivation, which, at least in part, can be attributed to their SUMO-E3 activity toward AR.

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