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J Biol Chem. 2003 Aug 15;278(33):31136-48. Epub 2003 May 27.

Repressors of androgen and progesterone receptor action.

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Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


Androgen and progesterone receptors (AR and PR) are two determining factors in gonadal differentiation that are highly expressed in developing and mature gonads. Loss of AR results in XY sex reversal and mutations causing reduced AR activity lead to varying degrees of defects in masculinization. Female PR knockout mice are infertile due to ovarian defects. While much has been discovered about positive regulation of these receptors by coactivators little is known about repression of the transcriptional activity of AR and PR in the presence of agonists. In this study we assessed the effect of SMRT and DAX-1 on AR and PR activity in the presence of both agonists and partial antagonists. We show that SMRT and DAX-1 repress agonist-dependent activity of both receptors, and the mechanism of repression includes disruption of the receptor dimer interactions rather than recruitment of histone deacetylases. We demonstrate that endogenous agonist-bound PR and DAX-1 in T47D breast cancer cells and endogenous AR and DAX-1 in LNCaP prostate cancer cells can be coimmunoprecipitated suggesting that the interaction is physiological. Surprisingly, although DAX-1 represses partial antagonist activity of AR, it was ineffective in repressing partial antagonist induced activity of PR. In contrast to most reported repressors, the expression of DAX-1 is restricted. We found that although DAX-1 is expressed in normal human prostate, its expression is strongly reduced in benign prostatic hyperplasia suggesting that DAX-1 plays a role in limiting AR activity in prostate.

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