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Andrew P Trotta, Eleanor F Need, Lisa M Butler, Luke A Selth, Melissa A O'Loughlin, Gerhard A Coetzee, Wayne D Tilley, and Grant Buchanan

Ligand-dependent activity of steroid receptors is affected by tetratricopeptide repeat (TPR)-containing co-chaperones, such as small glutamine-rich tetratricopeptide repeat-containing alpha (SGTA). However, the precise mechanisms by which the predominantly cytoplasmic TPR proteins affect downstream transcriptional outcomes of steroid signaling remain unclear. In this study, we assessed how SGTA affects ligand sensitivity and action of the androgen receptor (AR) using a transactivation profiling approach. Deletion mapping coupled with structural prediction, transcriptional assays, and in vivo regulation of AR-responsive promoters were used to assess the role of SGTA domains in AR responses. At subsaturating ligand concentrations of ≤0.1 nM 5α-dihydrotestosterone, SGTA overexpression constricted AR activity by an average of 32% (P<0.002) across the majority of androgen-responsive loci tested, as well as on endogenous promoters in vivo. The strength of the SGTA effect was associated with the presence or absence of bioinformatically predicated transcription factor motifs at each site. Homodimerizaion of SGTA, which is thought to be necessary for chaperone complex formation, was found to be dependent on the structural integrity of amino acids 1–80, and a core evolutionary conserved peptide within this region (amino acids 21–40) necessary for an effect of SGTA on the activity of both exogenous and endogenous AR. This study provides new insights into the subdomain structure of SGTA and how SGTA acts as a regulator of AR ligand sensitivity. A change in AR:SGTA ratio will impact the cellular and molecular response of prostate cancer cells to maintain androgenic signals, which may influence tumor progression.

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J M Carr, P A Grant, G L Francis, J A Owens, J C Wallace, and P E Walton


Three different molecular mass forms of IGF-binding proteins (IGFBPs) were purified from ovine plasma by IGF-I affinity chromatography and reverse-phase HPLC: a 46 kDa doublet and 29 kDa and 24 kDa forms. Amino-terminal sequence analysis confirmed that these proteins were ovine (o)IGFBP-3 (46 kDa) and two molecular size variants of oIGFBP-4. oIGFBP-3 and the 29 kDa form of oIGFBP-4 were shown to be N-glycosylated. Isoelectric points were determined to be at approximately pH 6 for oIGFBP-3 and at pH 7 and pH 7·5 for the 29 and 24 kDa forms of oIGFBP-4 respectively. The two different molecular mass variants of oIGFBP-4 had similar IGF-binding properties. Compared with human IGFBP-3 and oIGFBP-3, the two variants of oIGFBP-4 exhibited lower relative binding to amino-terminally modified IGF-I analogues in a competitive IGF-binding assay. The full protein sequence of oIGFBP-4, as deduced from the cDNA sequence, showed a high degree of identity with rat (90%), human (96%) and bovine (98%) IGFBP-4. The cDNA sequence also showed homology over regions of the 3′ non-coding sequence, particularly in comparison with bovine IGFBP-4 (96%). Northern analysis of mRNA for oIGFBP-4 indicated a 26 kb major transcript and two minor transcripts of approximately 21 and 1·8 kb. oIGFBP-4 mRNA transcripts were detected in adult ewe liver>kidney>lung>>heart and also in several fetal tissues, thus suggesting tissue-specific and developmental regulation. The availability of purified oIGFBP-4 and oIGFBP-3 as well as DNA probes for oIGFBP-4 will enable further study of the properties and functions of these proteins, as well as the establishment of specific assays for these IGFBPs.