Evidence is accumulating in support of the view that tissue-specific effects of steroid hormones depend on the recruitment of nuclear receptor comodulator proteins. The latter interact directly with the hormone receptors and modify their transcriptional effects on specific target genes. The mechanisms of comodulator influence on nuclear receptor-controlled gene transcription is only partially understood. Here, we describe the discovery of a new AR coactivator which belongs to the JmjC containing enzyme family as a novel variant of JMJD1C (jumonji domain-containing 1C). By using a fragment of the human AR (aa 325-919) as bait in a yeast two-hybrid screen, a region of the human JMJD1C gene was identified as interacting with AR. A novel splice variant s-JMJD1C was amplified by RACE, and the binding to AR was analysed by GST-pull-down and mammalian one-hybrid experiments. As a nuclear-localized protein, the s-JMJD1C gene is expressed in a variety of human tissues. In the brain, this protein is present in several, but not confined to, AR-expressing neuronal populations and its abundance varies with the hormonal status in a region-specific fashion. Interestingly, the expression of s-JMJD1C is reduced in breast cancer tumors and significantly higher in normal breast tissues indicating a putative role in tumor suppression. As s-JMJD1C has putative demethylase activity, removal of methylation seems to be important for nuclear receptor-based gene regulation.
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