The androgen receptor (AR) is a member of the steroid receptor superfamily that may require coactivators for proper or maximal transactivation. Using a purified AR N-terminal peptide as a probe to screen the human testis expression library, we identified an androgen-enhanced AR N-terminal-associated protein ARA160, which consists of 1,093 amino acids with an apparent molecular mass of 160 kDa. Sequence comparison in GenBank(TM) reveals that ARA160 shares an identical sequence with a HIV-1 TATA element modulatory factor, TMF. The far-Western blotting and co-immunoprecipitation assays demonstrate that the AR can interact directly with ARA160/TMF. Affinity gel pull-down and mammalian two-hybrid assays further suggest androgen can enhance significantly the interaction between AR and ARA160. Transient transfection assays demonstrated that ARA160 might function as a coactivator for AR-mediated transactivation in human prostate cancer PC-3 cells. Our data further suggest that this AR N-terminal coactivator can function cooperatively with AR C-terminal coactivator, ARA70, in PC-3 cells. Together, our data demonstrate that ARA160 might represent the first identified androgen-enhanced N-terminal coactivator for the AR.
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