The stigmoid body (STB) is a cytoplasmic inclusion containing huntingtin-associated protein 1 (HAP1), and HAP1/STB formation is induced by transfection of the HAP1 gene into cultured cells. In the present study, we examined the intracellular colocalization of HAP1/STBs with steroid hormone receptors (SHRs), including the androgen receptor (AR), estrogen receptor, glucocorticoid receptor (GR), and mineralocorticoid receptor, in COS-7 cells cotransfected with HAP1 and each receptor. We found that C-terminal ligand-binding domains of all SHRs had potential for colocalization with HAP1/STBs, whereas only AR and GR were clearly colocalized with HAP1/STBs when each full-length SHR was coexpressed with HAP1. In addition, it appeared that HAP1/STBs did not disrupt GR and AR functions because the receptors on HAP1/STBs maintained nuclear translocation activity in response to their specific ligands. When the cells were treated with a proteasome inhibitor, GR and AR localized outside HAP1/STBs translocated into the nucleus, whereas the receptors colocalized with HAP1/STBs persisted in their colocalization even after treatment with their ligands. Therefore, HAP1/STBs may be involved in cytoplasmic modifications of the nuclear translocation of GR and AR in a ubiquitin-proteasome system.
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