Functional Characterisation of the Native NH2- Terminal Transactivation Domain of the Human Androgen Receptor: Binding Kinetics for Interactions with TFIIF and SRC-1a

Derek N. Lavery, Iain J. McEwan

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27 Citations (Scopus)


The androgen receptor (AR) is a ligand-activated transcription factor that mediates the actions of the steroid hormones testosterone and dihydrotestosterone at the level of gene transcription. The main transactivation function is modular in structure, maps to the N-terminal domain (NTD), and is termed AF1. This region of the AR is structurally flexible and functions in multiple protein-protein interactions with coregulatory proteins and components of the general transcription machinery. Using surface plasmon resonance, the binding kinetics for the interaction of AR-AF1 with the large subunit of the general transcription factor TFIIF, termed RAP74, and the coactivator SRC-1a were measured. AR-AF1 interacts with both the NTD and CTD of RAP74 and the CTD of SRC-1a. The dissociation constants ( Kd) for the binding of polypeptides derived from RAP74 are in the submicromolar range, while a peptide from SRC-1a bound with a Kd of 14 microM. Significantly, the individual NTD and CTD of RAP74 interacted with AR-AF1 with distinct binding kinetics, with the NTD exhibiting slower on and off rates. TFIIF is involved in transcription initiation and elongation, and the CTD of RAP74 binds to the RNA polymerase II enzyme, the general transcription factor TFIIB, and a CTD phosphatase, FCP1. We have mutated hydrophobic residues in the RAP74-CTD structure to disrupt secondary structure elements and show that binding of AR-AF1 depends upon helix 3 in the winged-helix domain of the RAP74-CTD polypeptide. Altogether, a model is suggested for AR-AF1-dependent transactivation of receptor-target genes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3352-3359
Number of pages8
Issue number11
Early online date20 Feb 2008
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2008


  • RNA-polymerase-II
  • transcription factor IIF
  • carboxyl-terminal domain
  • general transcription
  • dependent transcription
  • phosphatase FCP1
  • RAP74 subunit
  • in-vitro
  • protein
  • coactivator

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