An Sp1 Modulated Regulatory Region Unique to Higher Primates Regulates Human Androgen Receptor Promoter Activity in Prostate Cancer Cells

Colin W Hay, Irene Hunter, Alasdair MacKenzie, Iain J McEwan

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Androgen receptor (AR) mediated signalling is necessary for normal development of the prostate gland and also drives prostate cancer (PCa) cell growth and survival, with many studies showing a correlation between increased receptor levels and therapy resistance with progression to fatal castrate recurrent PCa (CRPC). Although it has been held for some time that the transcription factor Sp1 is the main stimulator of AR gene transcription, comprehensive knowledge of the regulation of the AR gene remains incomplete. Here we describe and characterise in detail two novel active regulatory elements in the 5’UTR of the human AR gene. Both of these elements contain overlapping binding sites for the positive transcription factor Sp1 and the repressor protein pur α. Aberrant cell signalling is characteristic of PCa and the transcriptional activity of the AR promoter in PCa cells is dependent upon the relative amounts of the two transcription factors. Together with our corroboration of the dominant role of Sp1, the findings support the rationale of targeting this transcription factor to inhibit tumour progression. This should be of particular therapeutic relevance in CRPC where the levels of the repressor pur α are reduced.
Original languageEnglish
Article number0139990
Number of pages18
JournalPloS ONE
Issue number10
Early online date8 Oct 2015
Publication statusPublished - 8 Oct 2015


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