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Mol Endocrinol. 1993 Jul;7(7):924-36.

Transcriptional and posttranscriptional regulation of human androgen receptor expression by androgen.

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Institute of Physiological Chemistry, University of Munich, Germany.


Autoregulation is a control mechanism common to several proteins of the steroid/thyroid hormone receptor superfamily. In this work, the effect of androgens and antiandrogens on the expression of the human androgen receptor (hAR) in prostate and breast cancer cell lines was studied. Northern blot analysis revealed a decrease in hAR steady state RNA levels in LNCaP cells by 3.3 nM of the synthetic androgen mibolerone. Maximal down-regulation of hAR RNA to 30% of control levels occurred 48 h after hormone addition. T47D breast cancer cells showed a similar effect with mibolerone, while hAR expression in normal skin fibroblasts did not respond to androgen treatment. As shown by nuclease S1 analysis, hAR transcripts initiate at three principal start sites, all of which are equally sensitive to androgen. Steroidal as well as nonsteroidal antiandrogens were capable of partially antagonizing androgen-mediated hAR RNA down-regulation in LNCaP and T47D cells, while not exerting a significant effect when administered alone. While hAR RNA stability was increased by hormone, nuclear run-on analysis revealed a 4-fold reduction of hAR gene transcription 96 h after androgen treatment. Although decreased hAR RNA levels did not coincide with a parallel decrease in AR protein levels, analysis of androgen-inducible reporter constructs demonstrated that prolonged androgen administration to cells results in a progressively impaired sensitivity of the intracellular androgen response mechanism. These results show that prolonged androgen exposure leads, besides its effect on hAR RNA levels, to functional inactivation of the AR. Thus, in vivo, posttranslational control of AR activity appears to be a novel mechanism of negative autoregulation of androgen effects on gene expression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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