Novel Nine-Exon AR Transcripts (Exon 1/Exon 1b/Exons 2–8) in Normal and Cancerous Breast and Prostate Cells

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    Abstract

    Nearly 20 different transcripts of the human androgen receptor (AR) are reported with two currently listed as Refseq isoforms in the NCBI database. Isoform 1 encodes wild-type AR (type 1 AR) and isoform 2 encodes the variant AR45 (type 2 AR). Both variants contain eight exons: they share common exons 2-8 but differ in exon 1 with the canonical exon 1 in isoform 1 and the variant exon 1b in isoform 2. Splicing of exon 1 or exon 1b is reported to be mutually exclusive. In this study, we identified a novel exon 1b (1b/TAG) that contains an additional TAG trinucleotide upstream of exon 1b. Moreover, we identified AR transcripts in both normal and cancerous breast and prostate cells that contained either exon 1b or 1b/TAG spliced between the canonical exon 1 and exon 2, generating nine-exon AR transcripts that we have named isoforms 3a and 3b. The proteins encoded by these new AR variants could regulate androgen-responsive reporters in breast and prostate cancer cells under androgen-depleted conditions. Analysis of type 3 AR-GFP fusion proteins showed partial nuclear localization in PC3 cells under androgen-depleted conditions, supporting androgen-independent activation of the AR. Type 3 AR proteins inhibited androgen-induced growth of LNCaP cells. Microarray analysis identified a small set of type 3a AR target genes in LNCaP cells, including genes known to modulate growth and proliferation of prostate cancer (PCGEM1, PEG3, EPHA3, and EFNB2) or other types of human cancers (TOX3, ST8SIA4, and SLITRK3), and genes that are diagnostic/prognostic biomarkers of prostate cancer (GRINA3, and BCHE).

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number40
    Pages (from-to)Art: 40
    Number of pages24
    JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
    Volume18
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

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