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J Biol Chem. 2005 Dec 9;280(49):40916-24. Epub 2005 Oct 6.

Cell-specific regulation of androgen receptor phosphorylation in vivo.

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  • 1Department of Urology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York 10016, USA.


The biological ramifications of phosphorylation of the androgen receptor (AR) are largely unknown. To examine the phosphorylation of AR at serine 213, a putative substrate for Akt, a phosphorylation site-specific antibody was generated. The use of this antibody indicated that AR Ser-213 is phosphorylated in vivo and that phosphorylation is tightly regulated in a cell type-specific manner. Furthermore, Ser-213 phosphorylation took place with rapid kinetics and was inhibited by the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibitor LY294002. Phosphorylation occurred in response to R1881 and dihydrotestosterone but weakly if at all in response to testosterone. It did not occur in response to AR antagonists or growth factor stimulation in the absence of an AR agonist. Transcription assays using an AR-responsive reporter gene construct showed that activated phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibited transcription mediated by wild type AR but not that of a mutant AR variant (S213A), which could not be phosphorylated at Ser-213. By immunohistochemistry, the AR Ser(P)-213 antigen was detected in prostate epithelial but not stromal cells despite the fact that an antibody recognizing both phosphorylated and non-phosphorylated forms of AR demonstrates that AR is present in both cell types as expected. In fetal tissue the AR-Ser(P)-213 antigen was present in epithelial cells of the urogenital sinus when endogenous androgen levels were high and activated Akt was prevalent, but absent at a later stage of development when endogenous androgen levels were low and Akt activation was minimal. Immunoreactivity was evident in differentiated cells lining the lumen of the urogenital sinus but not in rapidly dividing, Ki67 positive cells within the developing prostate or stromal tissue, suggesting that site-specific phosphorylation of AR Ser-213 by cellular kinases occurs in a non-proliferating cellular milieu.

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