In the androgen receptor of a patient with androgen insensitivity, the alanine residue at position 564 in the first zinc cluster of the DNA-binding domain was substituted by aspartic acid. In other members of the steroid receptor family, either valine or alanine is present at the corresponding position, suggesting the importance of a neutral amino acid residue at this site. The mutant receptor was transcriptionally inactive, which corresponded to the absence of specific DNA binding in gel retardation assays, and its inactivity in a promoter interference assay. Two other receptor mutants with a mutation at this same position were created to study the role of position 564 in the human androgen receptor on DNA binding in more detail. Introduction of asparagine at position 564 resulted in transcription activation of a mouse mammary tumor virus promoter, although at a lower level compared with the wild-type receptor. Transcription activation of an (ARE)2-TATA promoter was low, and binding to different hormone response elements could not be visualized. The receptor with a leucine residue at position 564 was as active as the wild-type receptor on a mouse mammary tumor virus promoter and an (ARE)2-TATA promoter, but interacted differentially with several hormone response elements in a gel retardation assay. The results of the transcription activation and DNA binding studies could partially be predicted from three-dimensional modeling data. The phenotype of the patient was explained by the negative charge, introduced at position 564.

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Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Brüggenwirth, H.T, Boehmer, A.L.M, Lobaccaro, J.M, Chiche, L, Sultan, C, Trapman, J, & Brinkmann, A.O. (1998). Substitution of Ala564 in the first zinc cluster of the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)-binding domain of the androgen receptor by Asp, Asn, or Leu exerts differential effects on DNA binding. Endocrinology, 139(1), 103–110. Retrieved from