Androgen-induced recruitment of RNA polymerase II to a nuclear receptor-p160 coactivator complex

Maggie C. Louie, Hong Qiong Yang, Ai Hong Ma, Wei Xu, June X Zou, Hsing-Jien Kung, Hongwu Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

121 Scopus citations


The androgen receptor, like other nuclear receptors, activates target genes by binding to hormone-responsive enhancers. Here we demonstrate that androgen induces robust recruitment of androgen receptor, members of the p160 coactivator family, and CREB-binding protein/p300 specifically at the distant enhancer of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) gene. Unexpectedly, we found that RNA polymerase II (Pol II) is directly recruited to the enhancer in a hormone-dependent manner, independent of the proximal promoter, and that the isolated PSA enhancer can mediate efficient androgen induction of transcription. Inhibition of the Pol II carboxyl-terminal domain kinase activity with low concentrations of flavopiridol blocks Pol II transfer from the enhancer to the promoter and selectively abolishes PSA induction by androgen. Moreover, elevated levels of the p160 coactivator ACTR/AIB1 increase both androgen-dependent and -independent PSA expression, by facilitating Pol II recruitment to the enhancer. These results support a model in which nuclear receptors and their coactivators mediate hormone induction by serving as a staging platform for Pol II recruitment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2226-2230
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 4 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • General

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