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Mol Endocrinol. 2003 Feb;17(2):234-46.

The critical role of carboxy-terminal amino acids in ligand-dependent and -independent transactivation of the constitutive androstane receptor.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Kuopio, FIN-70211 Kuopio, Finland.


The mouse constitutive androstane receptor (CAR) is a unique member of the nuclear receptor superfamily, for which an inverse agonist, the testosterone metabolite 5alpha-androstan-3alpha-ol (androstanol), and an agonist, the xenobiotic 1,4-bis[2-(3, 5-dichloropyridyloxy)] benzene, are known. In this study the role of the transactivation domain 2 (AF-2) of CAR was investigated, which is formed by the seven most carboxy-terminal amino acids of the receptor. The AF-2 domain was shown to be critical for the constitutive activity by mediating a ligand-independent interaction of CAR with coactivator (CoA) proteins. In addition this domain increased and decreased contact with CoAs in the presence of agonist and inverse agonist, respectively. In analogy to classical endocrine nuclear receptors, in CAR the charge clamp between K187 (in helix 3) and E355 (within the AF-2 domain) was expected to be critical for its interaction with CoAs. However, the hydrophobic amino acids L352, L353, and I356 on the surface of the AF-2 domain were found to be more important for this protein-protein interaction. Moreover, these amino acids and C357 were shown to be involved in the response of CAR to androstanol. Interestingly, the cysteine at position 357 appears to block classical endocrine responsiveness of CAR to agonists, since mutagenesis of this amino acid both reduced CoA interaction in the absence of ligand and drastically increased inducibility by 1,4-bis[2-(3, 5-dichloropyridyloxy)] benzene. We showed that this blockade is not due to an intramolecular disulfide bridge, but is probably caused by an interaction between C357 and Y336.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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