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J Biol Chem. 1998 Nov 20;273(47):31528-33.

Differential regulation of androgen and glucocorticoid receptors by retinoblastoma protein.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Georgetown University Medical School, Washington, D.C. 20007, USA.


The androgen receptor (AR) plays a major role in the development and maintenance of male primary and secondary sexual characteristics. The growth promoting effects of androgens are clearly seen in prostate cancer where treatment by androgen ablation usually leads to tumor regression, followed sometime later, by growth of tumor cells that are resistant to endocrine therapy. We have found that the level of pRB in cells controls AR activity. Overexpression of pRB leads to increased transcriptional activity of the AR. This is similar to the previously reported potentiation of glucocorticoid receptor activity by pRB. In contrast, loss of pRB activity inhibits AR but not glucocorticoid receptor activity. This inhibition correlates with the unique ability of the AR to form a protein-protein complex with pRB in vitro. The site of interaction with pRB lies within the N-terminal domain of the AR and co-localizes with the region of the AR that specifies a requirement for pRB. Thus, the AR has a novel requirement for pRB raising the possibility that the growth promoting activity of AR is due to its direct interaction with pRB. Furthermore, loss of pRB activity during progression of prostate cancer may directly result in a decreased response to androgens.

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