Androgens are key regulators of male sexual differentiation and essential for development and maintenance of male reproductive tissues. The androgens testosterone and dihydrotestosterone mediate their effect by binding to, and activation of the androgen receptor (AR). Upon activation, the AR is able to recognize specific DNA sequences in gene promoters and enhancers from where it recruits coregulators to orchestrate chromatin remodeling and transcription regulation. The number of proteins that bind to the AR has surpassed 200 and many of them enhance (coactivator) or repress (corepressor) its transactivating capacity. For most of these coregulators, their AR binding interface and their exact mode of action still needs to be elucidated, but for some of the more classical coactivators and corepressors, we gained insight in their working mechanisms. Of particular interest are specific sequences (LxxLL and FxxLF-like motifs) in a subset of coactivators that interact with the AR via a coactivator binding groove in the ligand-binding domain. As compared to other steroid receptors, the conformation of the AR coactivator binding pocket is unique and preferentially binds FxxLF-like motifs. This predisposition is expected to contribute to the regulation of specific sets of target genes via recruitment of selected coregulators. This review provides an overview of these (inter)actions with a focus on the unique characteristics of the AR coactivator binding groove.

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Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology
Department of Urology

van de Wijngaart, D., Dubbink, E. J., Royen, M., Trapman, H., & Jenster, G. (2012). Androgen receptor coregulators: Recruitment via the coactivator binding groove. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology (Vol. 352, pp. 57–69). doi:10.1016/j.mce.2011.08.007