Previous studies in yeast and mammalian cells showed a functional interaction between the amino-terminal domain and the carboxy-terminal, ligand-binding domain (LBD) of the human androgen receptor (AR). In the present study, the AR subdomains involved in this in vivo interaction were determined in more detail. Cotransfection experiments in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells and two-hybrid experiments in yeast revealed that two regions in the NH2-terminal domain are involved in the functional interaction with the LBD: an interacting domain at the very NH2 terminus, located between amino acid residues 3 and 36, and a second domain, essential for transactivation, located between residues 370 and 494. Substitution of glutamic acid by glutamine at position 888 (E888Q) in the AF-2 activation domain (AD) core region in the LBD, markedly decreased the interaction with the NH2-terminal domain. This mutation neither influenced hormone binding nor LBD homodimerization, suggesting a role of the AF-2 AD core region in the functional interaction between the NH2-terminal domain and the LBD. The AF-2 AD core region was also involved in the interaction with the coactivator TIF2 (transcriptional intermediary factor 2), as the E888Q mutation decreased the stimulatory effect of TIF2 on AR AF-2 activity. Cotransfection of TIF2 and the AR NH2-terminal domain expression vectors did not result in synergy between both factors in the induction of AR AF-2 activity. TIF2 highly induced AR AF-2 activity on a complex promoter [mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV)], but it was hardly active on a minimal promoter (GRE-TATA). In contrast, the AR NH2-terminal domain induced AR AF-2 activity on both promoter constructs. These data indicate that both the AR NH2-terminal domain and the coactivator TIF2 functionally interact, either directly or indirectly, with the AF-2 AD core region in the AR-LBD, but the level of transcriptional response induced by TIF2 depends on the promoter context.