Previously, we reported that the AR directly suppressed transcription of the alpha glycoprotein hormone subunit (alphaGSU) gene in a ligand-dependent fashion while ER had no effect. Mutagenesis studies of the alphaGSU promoter indicated that two elements were required for AR-mediated suppression: the alpha basal element and tandem cAMP response elements (CREs). Because several members of the bZip family of transcriptional proteins can bind the CREs, we used several functional assays to determine whether AR interacts selectively with cJun, activation transcription factor 2 (ATF2), or CRE binding protein (CREB). When tested by cotransfection with AR, cJun and ATF2 specifically rescued androgen-mediated suppression of the alphaGSU-reporter construct in a gonadotrope-derived cell line. In contrast, cotransfected CREB displayed no activity in this rescue assay. In fact, overexpression of CREB alone diminished activity of the alphaGSU promoter, suggesting that the transcriptional activity normally conferred by the tandem CREs in gonadotropes requires their occupancy by cJun/ATF2 heterodimers. Binding assays carried out with a glutathione-S-transferase-AR fusion protein indicated that the receptor itself also displayed a clear preference for binding cJun and ATF2. Furthermore, we ruled out the possibility that AR suppressed activity of the alphaGSU promoter by reducing synthesis of these bZip proteins. Additional experiments suggested that phosphorylation of AR or histone acetylation are unlikely requirements for AR suppression of alphaGSU promoter activity. Thus, our data suggest that AR suppresses activity of the alphaGSU promoter through direct protein-protein interactions with cJun and ATF2.