Human checkpoint protein hRad9 functions as a negative coregulator to repress androgen receptor transactivation in prostate cancer cells.
Positive responses to combined androgen elimination therapy and radiation therapy have been well documented in the treatment of prostate cancer patients. The detailed mechanisms how androgen-androgen receptor (AR) cross talks to the radiation-related signal pathways, however, remain largely unknown. Here we report the identification of hRad9, a key member of the checkpoint Rad protein family, as a coregulator to suppress androgen-AR transactivation in prostate cancer cells. In vivo and in vitro interaction assays using Saccharomyces cerevisiae two-hybrid, mammalian two-hybrid, glutathione S-transferase pull-down, and coimmunoprecipitation methods prove that AR can interact with the C terminus of hRad9 via its ligand binding domain. The FXXLF motif within the C terminus of hRad9 interrupts the androgen-induced interaction between the N terminus and C terminus of AR. This interaction between AR and hRad9 may result in the suppression of AR transactivation, demonstrated by the repressed AR transactivation in androgen-induced luciferase reporter assay and the reduced endogenous prostate-specific antigen expression in Western blot assay. Addition of small interfering RNA of hRad9 can reverse hRad9 suppression effects, which suggests that hRad9 functions as a repressor of AR transactivation in vivo. Together, our data provide the first linkage between androgen-AR signals and radiation-induced responses. Further studies of the influence of hRad9 on prostate cancer growth may provide potential new therapeutic approaches.