[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prostate cancer (PCa) is one of the most frequently diagnosed malignancies in men. Androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) is the first-line treatment and fundamental management for men with advanced PCa to suppress functions of androgen/androgen receptor (AR) signaling. ADT is effective at improving cancer symptoms and prolonging survival. However, epidemiological and clinical studies support the notion that testosterone deficiency in men leads to the development of metabolic syndrome that increases cardiovascular disease risk. The underlying mechanisms by which androgen/AR signaling regulates metabolic homeostasis in men are complex, and in this review, we discuss molecular mechanisms mediated by AR signaling that link ADT to metabolic syndrome. Results derived from various AR knockout mouse models reveal tissue-specific AR signaling that is involved in regulation of metabolism. These data suggest that steps be taken early to manage metabolic complications associated with PCa patients receiving ADT, which could be accomplished using tissue-selective modulation of AR signaling and by treatment with insulin-sensitizing agents.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Clinical investigations highlight the increased incidence of metabolic syndrome in prostate cancer (PCa) patients receiving androgen deprivation therapy (ADT). Studies using global androgen receptor (AR) knockout mice demonstrate that AR deficiency results in the development of insulin resistance in males. However, mechanisms by which AR in individual organs coordinately regulates insulin sensitivity remain unexplored. Here we tested the hypothesis that functional AR in the brain contributes to whole-body insulin sensitivity regulation and to the metabolic abnormalities developed in AR-deficient male mice. The mouse model selectively lacking AR in the central nervous system and AR-expressing GT1-7 neuronal cells were established and used to delineate molecular mechanisms in insulin signaling modulated by AR. Neuronal AR deficiency leads to reduced insulin sensitivity in middle-aged mice. Neuronal AR regulates hypothalamic insulin signaling by repressing nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB)-mediated induction of protein-tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B). Hypothalamic insulin resistance leads to hepatic insulin resistance, lipid accumulation, and visceral obesity. The functional deficiency of AR in the hypothalamus leads to male mice being more susceptible to the effects of high-fat diet consumption on PTP1B expression and NF-κB activation. These findings suggest that in men with PCa undergoing ADT, reduction of AR function in the brain may contribute to insulin resistance and visceral obesity. Pharmacotherapies targeting neuronal AR and NF-κB may be developed to combat the metabolic syndrome in men receiving ADT and in elderly men with age-associated hypogonadism.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: TR4 is a nuclear receptor without clear pathophysiological roles. We investigated the roles of hepatic TR4 in the regulation of lipogenesis and insulin sensitivity in vivo and in vitro.
TR4 activity and phosphorylation assays were carried out using hepatocytes and various TR4 wild-type and mutant constructs. Liver tissues from TR4 knockout, C57BL/6, and db/db mice were examined to investigate TR4 target gene stearoyl-CoA desaturase (SCD) 1 regulation.
TR4 transactivation is inhibited via phosphorylation by metformin-induced AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) at the amino acid serine 351, which results in the suppression of SCD1 gene expression. Additional mechanistic dissection finds TR4-transactivated SCD1 promoter activity via direct binding to the TR4-responsive element located at -243 to -255 on the promoter region. The pathophysiological consequences of the metformin→AMPK→TR4→SCD1 pathway are examined via TR4 knockout mice and primary hepatocytes with either knockdown or overexpression of TR4. The results show that the suppression of SCD1 via loss of TR4 resulted in reduced fat mass and increased insulin sensitivity with increased β-oxidation and decreased lipogenic gene expression.
The pathway from metformin→AMPK→TR4→SCD1→insulin sensitivity suggests that TR4 may function as an important modulator to control lipid metabolism, which sheds light on the use of small molecules to modulate TR4 activity as a new alternative approach to battle the metabolic syndrome.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cutaneous wounds heal more slowly in elderly males than in elderly females, suggesting a role for sex hormones in the healing process. Indeed, androgen/androgen receptor (AR) signaling has been shown to inhibit cutaneous wound healing. AR is expressed in several cell types in healing skin, including keratinocytes, dermal fibroblasts, and infiltrating macrophages, but the exact role of androgen/AR signaling in these different cell types remains unclear. To address this question, we generated and studied cutaneous wound healing in cell-specific AR knockout (ARKO) mice. General and myeloid-specific ARKO mice exhibited accelerated wound healing compared with WT mice, whereas keratinocyte- and fibroblast-specific ARKO mice did not. Importantly, the rate of wound healing in the general ARKO mice was dependent on AR and not serum androgen levels. Interestingly, although dispensable for wound closure, keratinocyte AR promoted re-epithelialization, while fibroblast AR suppressed it. Further analysis indicated that AR suppressed wound healing by enhancing the inflammatory response through a localized increase in TNF-alpha expression. Furthermore, AR enhanced local TNF-alpha expression via multiple mechanisms, including increasing the inflammatory monocyte population, enhancing monocyte chemotaxis by upregulating CCR2 expression, and enhancing TNF-alpha expression in macrophages. Finally, targeting AR by topical application of a compound (ASC-J9) that degrades AR protein resulted in accelerated healing, suggesting a potential new therapeutic approach that may lead to better treatment of wound healing.
Preview · Article · Nov 2009 · The Journal of clinical investigation
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In earlier studies, we had suggested that the fasting signal induces TR4 orphan nuclear receptor expression in vivo. The detailed mechanism(s), however, remain unclear. In this study, we found that cAMP/PKA, the mediator of fasting and glucagon signals, could induce TR4 gene expression that in turn modulates gluconeogenesis. Mechanistic dissection by in vitro studies in hepatocytes demonstrated that cAMP/PKA might trigger C/EBP alpha and beta binding to the selective cAMP response element, which is located at the TR4 promoter, thus inducing TR4 transcription. We also demonstrated that the binding activity of C/EBPs to the TR4 promoter is increased in response to cAMP treatment. Together, our data identified a new signaling pathway from the fasting signal --> cAMP/PKA --> C/EBP alpha and beta --> TR4 --> gluconeogenesis in hepatocytes; and suggested that TR4 could be an important regulator to control glucose homeostasis. The identification of activator(s)/inhibitor(s) or ligand(s) of TR4 may provide us an alternative way to control gluconeogenesis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Early studies demonstrated that whole-body androgen receptor (AR)-knockout mice with hypogonadism exhibit insulin resistance. However, details about the mechanisms underlying how androgen/AR signaling regulates insulin sensitivity in individual organs remain unclear. We therefore generated hepatic AR-knockout (H-AR(-/y)) mice and found that male H-AR(-/y) mice, but not female H-AR(-/-) mice, fed a high-fat diet developed hepatic steatosis and insulin resistance, and aging male H-AR(-/y) mice fed chow exhibited moderate hepatic steatosis. We hypothesized that increased hepatic steatosis in obese male H-AR(-/y) mice resulted from decreased fatty acid beta-oxidation, increased de novo lipid synthesis arising from decreased PPARalpha, increased sterol regulatory element binding protein 1c, and associated changes in target gene expression. Reduced insulin sensitivity in fat-fed H-AR(-/y) mice was associated with decreased phosphoinositide-3 kinase activity and increased phosphenolpyruvate carboxykinase expression and correlated with increased protein-tyrosine phosphatase 1B expression. CONCLUSION: Together, our results suggest that hepatic AR may play a vital role in preventing the development of insulin resistance and hepatic steatosis. AR agonists that specifically target hepatic AR might be developed to provide a better strategy for treatment of metabolic syndrome in men.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Insulin resistance occurs through an inadequate response to insulin by insulin target organs such as liver, muscle, and adipose tissue with consequent insufficient glucose uptake. In previous studies we demonstrated that whole body androgen receptor (AR) knockout (AR(-/y)) mice develop obesity and exhibit insulin and leptin resistance at advanced age. By examining adipose tissue-specific AR knockout (A-AR(-/y)) mice, we found A-AR(-/y) mice were hyperleptinemic but showed no leptin resistance, although body weight and adiposity index of A-AR(-/y) mice were identical with those of male wild-type control mice. Hypotriglyceridemia and hypocholesterolemia found in nonobese A-AR(-/y) mice suggested a beneficial effect of high leptin levels independent of fat deposition. Further examination showed that androgen-AR signaling in adipose tissue plays a direct regulatory role in leptin expression via enhanced estrogen receptor transactivation activity due to elevated intraadipose estrogens. The present study in A-AR(-/y) mice suggests a differential tissue-specific role of AR in energy balance control in males.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: Regulation of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK), the key gene in gluconeogenesis, is critical for glucose homeostasis in response to quick nutritional depletion and/or hormonal alteration. RESEARCH DESIGN/METHODS AND RESULTS: Here, we identified the testicular orphan nuclear receptor 4 (TR4) as a key PEPCK regulator modulating PEPCK gene via a transcriptional mechanism. TR4 transactivates the 490-bp PEPCK promoter-containing luciferase reporter gene activity by direct binding to the TR4 responsive element (TR4RE) located at -451 to -439 in the promoter region. Binding to TR4RE was confirmed by electrophoretic mobility shift and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays. Eliminating TR4 via knockout and RNA interference (RNAi) in hepatocytes significantly reduced the PEPCK gene expression and glucose production in response to glucose depletion. In contrast, ectopic expression of TR4 increased PEPCK gene expression and hepatic glucose production in human and mouse hepatoma cells. Mice lacking TR4 also display reduction of PEPCK expression with impaired gluconeogenesis. CONCLUSIONS: Together, both in vitro and in vivo data demonstrate the identification of a new pathway, TR4 --> PEPCK --> gluconeogenesis --> blood glucose, which may allow us to modulate metabolic programs via the control of a new key player, TR4, a member of the nuclear receptor superfamily.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Androgen and the androgen receptor (AR) have been shown to play critical roles in male fertility. Our previous data demonstrated that mice lacking AR (AR(-/y)) revealed incomplete germ cell development and lowered serum testosterone levels, which resulted in azoospermia and infertility. However, the consequences of AR loss in Leydig cells remain largely unknown. Using a Cre-LoxP conditional knockout strategy, we generated a tissue-specific knockout mouse (L-AR(-/y)) with the AR gene deleted by the anti-Müllerian hormone receptor-2 (Amhr2) promoter driven Cre expressed in Leydig cells. Phenotype analyses show that the outside appearance of L-AR(-/y) mice was indistinguishable from wild type mice (AR(+/y)), but with atrophied testes and epididymis. L-AR(-/y) mice were infertile, with spermatogenic arrest predominately at the round spermatid stage and no sperm could be detected in the epididymis. L-AR(-/y) mice also have lower serum testosterone concentrations and higher serum leuteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone concentrations than AR(+/y) mice. Further mechanistic studies demonstrated that hypotestosteronemia in L-AR(-/y) mice is not caused by reducing numbers of Leydig cells, but instead by the alterations of several key steroidogenic enzymes, including 17beta-HSD3, 3beta-HSD6, and P450c17. Together, L-AR(-/y) mice provide in vivo evidence that functional AR in Leydig cells is essential to maintain normal spermatogenesis, testosterone production, and required for normal male fertility.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Motor neuron degeneration resulting from the aggregation of the androgen receptor with an expanded polyglutamine tract (AR-polyQ) has been linked to the development of spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA or Kennedy disease). Here we report that adding 5-hydroxy-1,7-bis(3,4-dimethoxyphenyl)-1,4,6-heptatrien-3-one (ASC-J9) disrupts the interaction between AR and its coregulators, and also increases cell survival by decreasing AR-polyQ nuclear aggregation and increasing AR-polyQ degradation in cultured cells. Intraperitoneal injection of ASC-J9 into AR-polyQ transgenic SBMA mice markedly improved disease symptoms, as seen by a reduction in muscular atrophy. Notably, unlike previous approaches in which surgical or chemical castration was used to reduce SBMA symptoms, ASC-J9 treatment ameliorated SBMA symptoms by decreasing AR-97Q aggregation and increasing VEGF164 expression with little change of serum testosterone. Moreover, mice treated with ASC-J9 retained normal sexual function and fertility. Collectively, our results point to a better therapeutic and preventative approach to treating SBMA, by disrupting the interaction between AR and AR coregulators.