Androgen signaling via the androgen receptor (AR) transcription factor is crucial to normal prostate homeostasis and prostate tumorigenesis. Current models of AR function are predominantly based on studies of prostate-specific antigen regulation in androgen-responsive cell lines. To expand on these in vitro paradigms, we used the mouse prostate to elucidate the mechanisms through which AR regulates another direct target, FKBP5, in vivo. FKBP5 encodes an immunophilin that has been previously implicated in glucocorticoid and progestin signaling pathways and that likely influences prostate physiology in the presence of androgens. In this work, we show that androgens directly regulate FKBP5 via an interaction between the AR and a distal enhancer located 65 kb downstream of the transcription start site in the fifth intron of the FKBP5 gene. We have found that AR selectively recruits cAMP response element-binding protein to this enhancer. These interactions, in turn, result in chromatin remodeling that affects the enhancer proper but not the FKBP5 locus as a whole. Furthermore, in contrast to prostate-specific antigen-regulatory mechanisms, we show that transactivation of the FKBP5 gene does not rely on a single looping complex to mediate communication between the distal enhancer and proximal promoter. Rather, the distal enhancer complex and basal transcription apparatus communicate indirectly with one another, implicating a regulatory mechanism that has not been previously appreciated for AR target genes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)590-598
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006


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