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Oncogene. 2008 May 22;27(23):3292-300. Epub 2007 Dec 17.

ZIP kinase plays a crucial role in androgen receptor-mediated transcription.

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Institute of Genetics, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany.


The androgen receptor (AR) is a ligand-dependent transcription factor that plays a crucial role in the development and homeostasis of the prostate and in prostate cancer. The transcriptional activity of AR is mediated by interaction with multiple co-activators, which serve in chromatin modification or remodeling, or provide a link between specific and general transcription factors. We have identified zipper interacting protein (ZIP) kinase as a novel transcriptional co-activator of the AR. ZIP kinase enhanced expression of AR-responsive promotor/luciferase reporter constructs in a hormone- and kinase-dependent manner. Similar results were obtained for glucocorticoid receptor but not for progesterone receptor and estrogen receptor. Following hormone treatment, AR and ZIP kinase formed physical complexes and associated with the promoter and enhancer of the prostate-specific antigen gene, as revealed by chromatin immunoprecipitation. Strikingly, depletion of ZIP kinase by siRNA led to significant reduction of AR-mediated transactivation. The interaction of ZIP kinase with AR seems to be mediated in part by apoptosis antagonizing transcription factor and in part by direct binding. Interestingly, AR was not phosphorylated by ZIP kinase in vitro, suggesting that it phosphorylates other co-activators or chromatin proteins.

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