Androgen receptor signalling in prostate cancer: the functional consequences of acetylation

J Biomed Biotechnol. 2011;2011:862125. doi: 10.1155/2011/862125. Epub 2010 Dec 28.


The androgen receptor (AR) is a ligand activated transcription factor and member of the steroid hormone receptor (SHR) subfamily of nuclear receptors. In the early stages of prostate carcinogenesis, tumour growth is dependent on androgens, and AR directly mediates these effects by modulating gene expression. During transcriptional regulation, the AR recruits numerous cofactors with acetylation-modifying enzymatic activity, the best studied include p300/CBP and the p160/SRC family of coactivators. It is known that recruitment of histone acetyltransferases (HATs) and histone deacetylases (HDACs) is key in fine-tuning responses to androgens and is thus likely to play a role in prostate cancer progression. Further, these proteins can also modify the AR itself. The functional consequences of AR acetylation, the role of modifying enzymes in relation to AR transcriptional response, and prostate cancer will be discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylation
  • Animals
  • Histone Acetyltransferases / metabolism
  • Histone Deacetylases / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / enzymology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Androgen / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction


  • Receptors, Androgen
  • Histone Acetyltransferases
  • Histone Deacetylases