Androgen regulation of gene expression.
ABSTRACT The biological action of androgenic male sex steroid hormones in prostate tissue is mediated by the androgen receptor, a nuclear transcription factor. The transcriptional program of androgenic signaling in the prostate consists of thousands of gene targets whose products play a role in almost all cellular functions, including cellular proliferation, survival, lipid metabolism, and differentiation. This review will provide a summary of the most recent data regarding androgen-regulated target genes and modulation of androgen receptor activity, especially with regard to androgen-dependent and castration-recurrent prostate cancer.
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ABSTRACT: Decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE) adversely affects reproduction and development. Our previous study showed that postnatal exposure to a low dose of decaBDE (0.025 mg/kg body weight/day) by subcutaneous injection on postnatal days (PNDs) 1 through 5 leads to reductions in testicular size and number of Sertoli cells and sperm, while higher dose of decaBDE (2.5 mg/kg body weight/day) had no significant differences about these. In the present study, we examined the molecular mechanism of these effects on mouse testes following postnatal exposure to a low decaBDE dose. We hypothesized that postnatal exposure to decaBDE may alter levels of serum thyroid hormones (THs) and testosterone, or the level of TH receptor alpha (Thra) transcripts and its splicing variants and androgen receptor (Ar) in Sertoli cells, adversely affecting spermatogenesis. To test this hypothesis, we examined serum TH and testosterone levels and the levels of transcripts of the Ar, Thra and its splicing variants, and Thra splicing factors (Hnrnpa1, Srsf1, and Hnrnph1) with qPCR in isolated mouse Sertoli cells exposed postnatally to decaBDE (0.025, 0.25, and 2.5 mg/kg). Levels of serum testosterone and transcripts encoding Ar, Thra, and its variant, Thra1, declined significantly in Sertoli cells of mice exposed to 0.025 mg decaBDE/kg. No significant differences in serum TH level or Thra2, Hnrnph1, or Srsf1 transcript levels were observed between control and decaBDE-exposed mice. However, the Thra1:Thra2 and Hnrnpa1:Srsf1 ratios were altered in Sertoli cells of mice exposed to 0.025 mg decaBDE/kg but not in cells exposed to 0.25 or 2.5 mg decaBDE/kg. These results indicate that postnatal exposure to a low dose of decaBDE on PNDs 1 through 5 lowers the testosterone level and the levels of Ar and Thra transcripts in Sertoli cells, accompanied by an imbalance in the ratios of Thra splicing variants, resulting in smaller testicular size and impaired spermatogenesis.PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(12):e114487. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The Androgen Receptor (AR) is a transcription factor that has a pivotal role in the occurrence and progression of prostate cancer (PCa). The AR is activated by androgens that bind to its ligand-binding domain (LBD), causing the transcription factor to enter the nucleus and interact with genes via its conserved DNA-binding domain (DBD). Treatment for PCa involves reducing androgen production or using anti-androgen drugs to block the interaction of hormones with the AR-LBD. Eventually the disease changes into a castration resistant form (CRPC) where LBD mutations render anti-androgens ineffective or where constitutively active AR splice variants, lacking the LBD, become over-expressed. Recently, we identified a surfaced exposed pocket on the AR-DBD as an alternative drug-target site for AR inhibition. Here, we demonstrate that small molecules designed to selectively bind the pocket effectively block transcriptional activity of full-length and splice variant AR forms at low- to sub- μM concentrations. The inhibition is lost when residues involved in drug interactions are mutated. Furthermore, the compounds did not impede nuclear localization of the AR and blocked interactions with chromatin, indicating the interference of DNA binding with the nuclear form of the transcription factor. Finally, we demonstrate the inhibition of gene expression and tumor volume in mouse xenografts. Our results indicate that the AR-DBD has a surface site that can be targeted to inhibit all forms of the AR, including Enzalutamide resistant and constitutively active splice variants and thus may serve as a potential avenue for the treatment of recurrent and metastatic prostate cancer.Journal of Biological Chemistry 08/2014; · 4.65 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Recurrent, metastatic prostate cancer continues to be a leading cause of cancer-death in men. The androgen receptor (AR) is a modular, ligand-inducible transcription factor that regulates the expression of genes that can drive the progression of this disease, and as a consequence, this receptor is a key therapeutic target for controlling prostate cancer. The current drugs designed to directly inhibit the AR are called anti-androgens, and all act by competing with androgens for binding to the androgen/ligand binding site. Unfortunately, with the inevitable progression of the cancer to castration resistance, many of these drugs become ineffective. However, there are numerous other regulatory sites on this protein that have not been exploited therapeutically. The regulation of AR activity involves a cascade of complex interactions with numerous chaperones, co-factors and co-regulatory proteins, leading ultimately to direct binding of AR dimers to specific DNA androgen response elements within the promoter and enhancers of androgen-regulated genes. As part of the family of nuclear receptors, the AR is organized into modular structural and functional domains with specialized roles in facilitating their inter-molecular interactions. These regions of the AR present attractive, yet largely unexploited, drug target sites for reducing or eliminating androgen signaling in prostate cancers. The design of small molecule inhibitors targeting these specific AR domains is only now being realized and is the culmination of decades of work, including crystallographic and biochemistry approaches to map the shape and accessibility of the AR surfaces and cavities. Here, we review the structure of the AR protein and describe recent advancements in inhibiting its activity with small molecules specifically designed to target areas distinct from the receptor's androgen binding site. It is anticipated that these new classes of anti-AR drugs will provide an additional arsenal to treat castration-resistant prostate cancer.International Journal of Molecular Sciences 01/2013; 14(6):12496-519. · 2.46 Impact Factor