Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology vol:74 issue:3 pages:203-12
Prostatic binding protein is a complex glycoprotein comprising three components, C1, C2 and C3, organized into two different heterodimers (C1-C3 and C2-C3). The rat ventral prostate genes encoding all three constituent polypeptides are expressed under androgenic control. Analysis of genomic fragments containing the genes and flanking sequences revealed in each case one androgen receptor-binding region upstream of or within the promoter and another in the first intron. The effect of androgens on the expression of these genes may, therefore, be mediated by these direct receptor-DNA interactions. The genomic fragments which contain androgen receptor-binding regions all contain nucleotide sequences reminiscent of glucocorticoid response elements (GRE). Mutations in these sequences in restriction fragments and in synthetic oligonucleotides significantly decreased their affinity for androgen-receptor complexes and their introduction into nonspecific sequences conferred affinity for androgen-receptor complexes. Based on these data, a consensus sequence for putative androgen response elements (ARE) is proposed. However, despite the specific recognition of these sequences by the androgen receptor in vitro, only the C3(1) intronic fragment could confer significant androgen responsiveness on a heterologous promoter. While this could be due to the fact that the GRE-like sequences present in the other fragments are not strong AREs, alternative hypotheses are being investigated currently. Not least of these is that the similar localization of the binding sites in each gene might underlie a more complex androgen regulation mechanism.