A C619Y mutation in the human androgen receptor causes inactivation and mislocalization of the receptor with concomitant sequestration of SRC-1 (steroid receptor coactivator 1)

Mol Endocrinol. 1999 Dec;13(12):2065-75. doi: 10.1210/mend.13.12.0382.


Androgen ablation therapy is a primary treatment for advanced prostate cancer, but tumors become refractive to therapy. Consequently, the role of the androgen receptors (ARs) and of mutations in the AR in prostate cancer has been a subject of much concern. In the course of analyzing tumors for mutations, we identified a somatic mutation that substitutes tyrosine for a cysteine at amino acid 619 (C619Y), which is near the cysteines that coordinate zinc in the DNA binding domain in the AR. The mutation was re-created in a wild-type expression vector and functional analyses carried out using transfection assays with androgen-responsive reporters. The mutant is transcriptionally inactive and unable to bind DNA. In response to ligand treatment, AR619Y localizes abnormally in numerous, well circumscribed predominantly nuclear aggregates in the nucleus and cytoplasm. Interestingly, these aggregates also contain the bulk of the coexpressed steroid receptor coactivator SRC-1, suggesting, in analogy to AR in spinal bulbar muscular atrophy, that this mutant may alter cellular physiology through sequestration of critical proteins. Although many inactivating mutations have been identified in androgen insensitivity syndrome patients, to our knowledge, this is the first characterization of an inactivating mutation identified in human prostate cancer.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Cysteine
  • Cytoplasm / metabolism
  • DNA / metabolism
  • HeLa Cells / metabolism
  • HeLa Cells / ultrastructure
  • Histone Acetyltransferases
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation*
  • Nuclear Receptor Coactivator 1
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Receptors, Androgen / analysis
  • Receptors, Androgen / genetics*
  • Receptors, Androgen / metabolism
  • Response Elements
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Transfection
  • Tyrosine
  • X Chromosome


  • Receptors, Androgen
  • Transcription Factors
  • Tyrosine
  • DNA
  • Histone Acetyltransferases
  • NCOA1 protein, human
  • Nuclear Receptor Coactivator 1
  • Cysteine