FHL2, a novel tissue-specific coactivator of the androgen receptor

EMBO J. 2000 Feb 1;19(3):359-69. doi: 10.1093/emboj/19.3.359.


The control of target gene expression by nuclear receptors requires the recruitment of multiple cofactors. However, the exact mechanisms by which nuclear receptor-cofactor interactions result in tissue-specific gene regulation are unclear. Here we characterize a novel tissue-specific coactivator for the androgen receptor (AR), which is identical to a previously reported protein FHL2/DRAL with unknown function. In the adult, FHL2 is expressed in the myocardium of the heart and in the epithelial cells of the prostate, where it colocalizes with the AR in the nucleus. FHL2 contains a strong, autonomous transactivation function and binds specifically to the AR in vitro and in vivo. In an agonist- and AF-2-dependent manner FHL2 selectively increases the transcriptional activity of the AR, but not that of any other nuclear receptor. In addition, the transcription of the prostate-specific AR target gene probasin is coactivated by FHL2. Taken together, our data demonstrate that FHL2 is the first LIM-only coactivator of the AR with a unique tissue-specific expression pattern.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Homeodomain Proteins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • LIM-Homeodomain Proteins
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Muscle Proteins*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Myocardium / metabolism
  • Prostate / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Receptors, Androgen / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factors*
  • Transcriptional Activation / genetics*
  • Yeasts


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • FHL2 protein, human
  • Fhl2 protein, mouse
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • LIM-Homeodomain Proteins
  • Muscle Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Androgen
  • Transcription Factors