by Ruth Perets, Tommy Kaplan, Ilan Stein, Guy Hidas, Shay Tayeb, Eti Avraham, Yinon Ben-Neriah, Itamar Simon, Eli Pikarsky
Androgen activity plays a key role in prostate cancer progression. Androgen receptor (AR) is the main mediator of androgen activity in the prostate, through its ability to act as a transcription mediator. Here we performed a genome-wide analysis of human AR binding to promoters in the presence of an agonist or antagonist in an androgen dependent prostate cancer cell line. Many of the AR bound promoters are bound in all examined conditions while others are bound only in the presence of an agonist or antagonist. Several motifs are enriched in AR bound promoters, including the AR Response Element (ARE) half-site and recognition elements for the transcription factors OCT1 and SOX9. This suggests that these 3 factors could define a module of co-operating transcription factors in the prostate. Interestingly, AR bound promoters are preferentially located in AT rich genomic regions. Analysis of mRNA expression identified chicken ovalbumin upstream promoter-transcription factor 1 (COUP-TF1) as a direct AR target gene that is downregulated upon binding by the agonist liganded AR. COUP-TF1 immunostaining revealed nucleolar localization of COUP-TF1 in epithelium of human androgen dependent prostate cancer, but not in adjacent benign prostate epithelium. Stromal cells both in human and mouse prostate show nuclear COUP-TF1 staining. We further show that there is an inverse correlation between COUP-TF1 expression in prostate stromal cells and the rising levels of androgen with advancing puberty. This study extends the pool of recognized putative AR targets and identifies a negatively regulated target of AR – COUP-TF1 – which could possibly play a role in human prostate cancer.