Mitochondrial localization, import, and mitochondrial function of the androgen receptor

Academic Article


  • Nuclear localization of androgen receptor (AR) directs transcriptional regulation of a host of genes, referred to as genomic signaling. Additionally, nonnuclear or nongenomic activities of the AR have long been described, but understanding of these activities remains elusive. Here,wereport thatARis imported intoandlocalizes to mitochondria and has a novel role in regulating multiple mitochondrial processes. Employing complementary experimental approaches of AR knockdown in AR-expressing cells and ectopic AR expression in AR-deficient cells, we demonstrate an inverse relationship between AR expression and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) content and transcription factor A, mitochondrial (TFAM),a regulator ofmtDNAcontent.WeshowthatARlocalizes to mitochondria in prostate tissues and cell lines and is imported into mitochondria in vitro.We also found thatARcontains a 36-amino- acid-long mitochondrial localization sequence (MLS) capable of targeting a passenger protein (GFP) to the mitochondria and that deletion of the MLS abolishes the import of AR into the mitochondria. Ectopic AR expression reduced the expression of oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) subunits. Interestingly, AR also controlled translation of mtDNA-encoded genes by regulating expression of multiple nuclear DNA-encoded mitochondrial ribosomal proteins. Consistent with these observations, OXPHOS supercomplexes were destabilized, andOXPHOSenzymatic activities were reduced in AR-expressing cells and restored upon AR knockdown. Moreover, mitochondrial impairment induced AR expression and increased its translocation into mitochondria. We conclude thatARlocalizes to mitochondria, where it controls multiple mitochondrial functions and mitonuclear communication. Our studies also suggest that mitochondria are novel players in nongenomic activities of AR.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Bajpai P; Koc E; Sonpavde G; Singh R; Singh KK
  • Start Page

  • 6621
  • End Page

  • 6634
  • Volume

  • 294
  • Issue

  • 16