Chromatin binding by the androgen receptor in prostate cancer.
Itkonen H., Mills IG.
Alterations in transcriptional programs are fundamental to the development of cancers. The androgen receptor is central to the normal development of the prostate gland and to the development of prostate cancer. To a large extent this is believed to be due to the control of gene expression through the interaction of the androgen receptor with chromatin and subsequently with coregulators and the transcriptional machinery. Unbiased genome-wide studies have recently uncovered the recruitment sites that are gene-distal and intragenic rather than associated with proximal promoter regions. Whilst expression profiles from AR-positive primary prostate tumours and cell lines can directly relate to the AR cistrome in prostate cancer cells, this distribution raises significant challenges in making direct mechanistic connections. Furthermore, extrapolating from datasets assembled in one model to other model systems or clinical samples poses challenges if we are to use the AR-directed transcriptome to guide the development of novel biomarkers or treatment decisions. This review will provide an overview of the androgen receptor before addressing the challenges and opportunities created by whole-genome studies of the interplay between the androgen receptor and chromatin.