Journal of Biological Chemistry vol:271 issue:32 pages:19013-6
The nuclear receptors constitute a large family of transcription factors characterized by a well conserved DNA-binding domain. The receptors for glucocorticoids, progestins, mineralocorticoids, and androgens constitute a subgroup because they bind in vitro with high affinity to DNA elements containing a partial palindrome of the core sequence 5'-TGTTCT-3'. In vivo, however, the corresponding steroids differentially regulate the expression of their target genes, even when more than one receptor type is present in a particular cell. The DNA-binding domains of the androgen and of the glucocorticoid receptors bind most androgen response elements with similar relative affinities. In contrast, one element (5'-GGTTCTTGGAGTACT-3') which was recently described in the promoter region of the probasin gene selectively interacts with the DNA-binding domain of the androgen receptor and not with that of the glucocorticoid receptor. From studies with chimeric elements, it can be deduced that it is the left subsequence 5'-GGTTCT-3' which excludes the glucocorticoid receptor domain from binding. In co-transfection experiments where the ARE of the C3(1) gene is responsive to both androgens and glucocorticoids, the probasin element is induced only by androgens and not by glucocorticoids. The existence of response elements which are recognized preferentially by the androgen receptor provides yet another possible mechanism to explain the differences of the in vivo effects between androgens and other steroids of the subgroup.