Allosteric alterations in the androgen receptor and activity in prostate cancer

    1. Cynthia C Sprenger1
    1. 1Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
    2. 2Geriatrics Research Education and Clinical Center, VA Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle, Washington, USA
    1. Correspondence should be addressed to T Uo; Email: tuo{at}


    Organisms have evolved to generate biological complexity in their proteome and transcriptome from a limited number of genes. This concept holds true for the androgen receptor, which displays a diversity of inclusion/exclusion events in its structural motifs as a mechanism of resistance to the most forefront anti-androgen therapies. More than 20 androgen receptor variants that lack various portions of ligand-binding domain have been identified in human prostate cancer (PCa) samples. Most of the variants are inactive on their own, with a few exceptions displaying constitutive activity. The full-length receptor and one or more variants can be co-expressed in the same cell under many circumstances, which raises the question of how these variants physically and functionally interact with the full-length receptor or one another in the course of PCa progression. To address this issue, in this review, we will characterize and discuss androgen receptor variants, including the novel variants discovered in the last couple of years (i) individually, (ii) with respect to their physical and functional interaction with one another and (iii) in clinical relevance. Here, we also introduce the very recent understanding of AR-Vs obtained through successful development of some AR-V-specific antibodies as well as identification of novel AR-Vs by data mining approaches.

    • Received 19 June 2017
    • Accepted 13 July 2017
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