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Mol Endocrinol. 1995 Aug;9(8):1017-28.

Androgen receptor-mediated transcriptional regulation in the absence of direct interaction with a specific DNA element.

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Department of Physiology, University of Helsinki, Finland.


Androgen receptor (AR) brings about a ligand-dependent inhibition of low-affinity neurotrophin receptor (p75) promoter constructs in cultured cells, with the greatest inhibition being achieved with a reporter gene containing 1050 nucleotides (nt) of the promoter. The receptor domain critical for trans-repression localizes to the same region (amino acids 147-296) as that mandatory for transactivation. In contrast to trans-activation, AR does not interact directly with specific DNA elements to elicit trans-repression of p75 promoter constructs, although an intact DNA-binding domain of the receptor is required for both actions. In a search for interacting partners, both extensively purified full-length AR and AR-DNA binding domain were found to inhibit c-Jun/AP-1 site interaction without themselves binding to the AP-1 element. Prior binding of c-Jun to the AP-1 element protected the complex from the receptor's interference. Repression was not mutual, as c-Jun did not inhibit AR-androgen response element interaction or trans-activation through an androgen response element-containing promoter. The 1050-nt-long p75 promoter sequence does not contain an AP-1 element; an AP-1-like site in the vector backbone mediates the trans-repression by the AR in recipient cells. Intriguingly, an AR form with a large N-terminal deletion (the delta 46-408 mutant) behaved as a transcriptional activator of the p75 promoter through a mechanism that was also independent of specific DNA binding. Collectively, these data indicate that, in a proper context, AR is able to elicit both transrepression and trans-activation without interacting directly with specific DNA elements. Sequences responsible for the down-regulation of p75 mRNA by androgens in vivo are, however, not located in the proximal 1050 nt of the p75 promoter.

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