by Conrad David Valdez, Joanne N. Davis, Hana M. Odeh, Tristan L. Layfield, Craig S. Cousineau, Thomas R. Berton, David G. Johnson, Kirk J. Wojno, Mark L. Day
Although androgen receptor (AR) function has been extensively studied, regulation of the AR gene itself has been much less characterized. In this study, we observed a dramatic reduction in the expression of androgen receptor mRNA and protein in hyperproliferative prostate epithelium of keratin 5 promoter driven E2F1 transgenic mice. To confirm an inhibitory function for E2F1 on AR transcription, we showed that E2F1 inhibited the transcription of endogenous AR mRNA, subsequent AR protein, and AR promoter activity in both human and mouse epithelial cells. E2F1 also inhibited androgen-stimulated activation of two AR target gene promoters. To elucidate the molecular mechanism of E2F-mediated inhibition of AR, we evaluated the effects of two functional E2F1 mutants on AR promoter activity and found that the transactivation domain appears to mediate E2F1 repression of the AR promoter. Because DNMT1 is a functional intermediate of E2F1 we examined DNMT1 function in AR repression. Repression of endogenous AR in normal human prostate epithelial cells was relieved by DNMT1 shRNA knock down. DNMT1 was shown to be physically associated within the AR minimal promoter located 22 bps from the transcription start site; however, methylation remained unchanged at the promoter regardless of DNMT1 expression. Taken together, our results suggest that DNMT1 operates either as a functional intermediary or in cooperation with E2F1 inhibiting AR gene expression in a methylation independent manner.