The androgen receptor (AR) is a developmental and tissue-specific transcription factor which is activated by binding testosterone or dihydrotestosterone. Several different methods of transcriptional regulation of the AR have been shown, including regulation by androgens, follicle-stimulating hormone, epidermal growth factor, and the cAMP pathway. In order to further characterize the transcriptional regulation of the AR, portions of the mouse androgen receptor (mAR) promoter were cloned into the promoterless pBLCAT3 vector and assayed for chloramphenicol acetyltransferase activity. The results indicate that in addition to the previously characterized promoter (+1) there is a second distinct promoter located 3′ to the first promoter. Amplification of the 5′-end of the AR gene indicates that RNA originating from the second promoter is initiated from 162 and 170 bases downstream from the 5′-most previously characterized site. Northern blot analysis indicated that RNA initiated from the two promoters is differentially expressed in several cell lines and multiple tissues. Androgen ablation by castration showed that both promoters are controlled by androgens in the kidney. Sequence analysis revealed that the second promoter does not contain a TATA or CAAT box. Further characterization of this promoter may provide important insights into the transcriptional regulation of the androgen receptor since previous studies have often included only the first promoter.
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