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Abstract

Androgens play pivotal roles in sex differentiation and development, in reproductive functions, and sexual behavior. The actions of androgens are mediated through the intracellular androgen receptor (AR), a member of the nuclear receptor (NR) superfamily, which regulates a wide range of target gene expression. Recent studies indicate that the proper transcriptional activity of AR is modulated by AR coregulators, including coactivators that can enhance AR transactivation and corepressors that can suppress AR transactivation. Here, we summarize the recent discoveries relating to AR corepressor function with the following different mechanisms: (1) corepressors that inhibit the DNA binding or nuclear translocation of AR; (2) corepressors that recruit histone deacetylases; (3) corepressors that interrupt the interaction between AR and its coactivators; (4) corepressors that interrupt the interaction between the N-terminus and C-terminus of AR; (5) corepressors that function as scaffolds for other AR coregulators; (6) corepressors that target the basal transcriptional machinery; (7) other mechanisms. The potential impact and future directions of AR corepressors are also discussed. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.