We have characterized a novel partner for androgen receptor (AR), termed ARIP3, that interacts with the DNA-binding domain/zinc finger region of AR and is predominantly expressed in the testis. Rat ARIP3 is a nuclear protein comprising 572 amino acids. It modulates AR-dependent but not basal transcription, suggesting that ARIP3 acts as an AR transcriptional coregulator. Except for the C-terminal AR-interacting domain, ARIP3 contains distinct regions that are also present in two recently described proteins, a protein inhibitor of activated Stat3 and an RNA helicase II-interacting protein (Gu/RH-II binding protein). Conserved structural features of these proteins indicate the existence of a gene family involved in the regulation of various transcription factors. Collectively, ARIP3 belongs to a novel nuclear protein family and is perhaps the first tissue-specific coregulator of androgen receptor.
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