Multitasking and Interplay Between the Androgen Receptor Domains

  • F. Claessens
  • T. Tanner
  • A. Haelens


The androgen receptor, like the other nuclear receptors, consists of three canonical domains: the aminoterminal domain (NTD), the DNA-binding domain (DBD) and the ligand-binding domain (LBD). The flexible hinge between the DBD and LBD can also be considered as a separate entity. Each of these domains has multiple functions. The NTD harbors two interdependent transactivation functions Tau-1 and Tau-5, two SUMOylation sites that seem to control cooperativity of the AR, and an 23FQNLF27 motif that interacts with high affinity with the ligand-binding domain. The DBD is involved in the correct interactions of the AR with its response elements, but it also contains a nuclear export signal as well as a nuclear translocation signal. The hinge region controls the interactions of the AR with selective AREs. It harbors an acetylation and a phosphorylation acceptor site, overlaps with the nuclear translocation signal, and seems involved in the control of the steady state of the AR. The LBD binds its natural agonists with high affinity; it interacts with heat-shock protein complexes when unbound and with a series of coregulators when bound by agonists. Many of these coregulators harbor motifs that resemble the 23FQNLF27-motif of the NTD.

Clearly, the domains of the AR do not function independently, but rather act in concert with each other and with other proteins during androgen activation of transcription. The overall activity of the AR as a transcription factor is codetermined by such communications, and also by the nature of the response element or enhancer it is binding to.


Androgen Receptor Hinge Region Nuclear Export Signal Androgen Receptor Gene Androgen Receptor Activity 



We are grateful to the members of the Molecular Endocrinology Laboratory of Leuven for helpful discussions. This laboratory has been supported by the “Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek-Vlaanderen (FWO),” by a U.S. Army Prostate Cancer Research Program grant, by a “Geconcerteerde Onderzoeksactie K.U. Leuven,” and by a grant of the Association for International Cancer Research (AICR).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Claessens
    • 1
  • T. Tanner
    • 1
  • A. Haelens
    • 1
  1. 1.Molecular Endocrinology LaboratoryDepartment of Molecular Cell Biology, K.U. LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

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