The androgen receptor (AR) is a member of the nuclear receptor superfamily. Sequences within the large amino-terminal domain of the receptor have been shown to be important for transactivation and protein-protein interactions; however, little is known about the structure and folding of this region. In the present study we show that a 344-amino acid polypeptide representing the main determinants for transactivation has the propensity to form a-helical structure and that mutations which disrupt putative helical regions alter conformation. Folding of the AR was observed in the presence of the helix-stabilizing solvent trifluoroethanol and the natural osmolyte trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO). TMAO resulted in the movement of two tryptophan residues to a less solvent-exposed environment and the formation of secondary/tertiary structure resistant to protease cleavage. Critically, binding to the RAP74 subunit of the general transcription factor TFIIF resulted in extensive protease resistance, consistent with induced folding of the receptor transactivation domain. These data indicate that this region of the AR is structurally flexible and folds into a stable conformation upon interactions with a component of the general transcription machinery.
- TRANSCRIPTIONAL ACTIVATION DOMAIN
- HUMAN GLUCOCORTICOID RECEPTOR
- LIGAND-BINDING DOMAIN
- NUCLEAR RECEPTOR
- SECONDARY STRUCTURE