The fluorescent two-hybrid assay for live-cell profiling of androgen receptor modulators

The androgen receptor (AR) is an important target for drug therapies combating prostate cancer. However, various acquired mutations within the AR sequence often render this receptor resistant to treatment. Ligand-induced interaction between the N- and C-termini of the AR marks the initial step in the AR signaling cascade and can thus serve as an early read-out for analysis of potential antagonists of wt and mutant AR. To measure changes of the N/C interaction in the wt and mutant AR variants upon the addition of inhibitors, we applied our recently developed Fluorescent Two-Hybrid (F2H) assay. The F2H method enables real-time monitoring and quantitative analysis of the interactions between GFP- and RFP-tagged proteins in live mammalian cells, where GFP-tagged proteins are tethered to a specific nuclear location. This anchoring approach provides a local signal enrichment suitable for direct visualization of protein-protein interactions as co-localizations by conventional epifluorescence microscopy. Since the F2H assay is fully reversible, we could monitor dynamics of AR N/C interactions in living cells in real time upon agonistic, as well as antagonistic treatments. In dose-response F2H experiments, we compared the potencies of abiraterone, bicalutamide, enzalutamide, flutamide, and galeterone/TOK-001 to prevent the dihydrotestosterone-induced N/C interaction in wt AR. We further applied the newly developed F2H assay to analyze how the AR N/C interaction is affected by the clinically relevant mutations W741L, F876L, T877A and F876L/T877A. We conclude that F2H is a reliable and technically undemanding approach for straightforward screening of new AR modulators, as well as for monitoring their activity in real time in living cells.

The Journal of steroid biochemistry and molecular biology. 2016 May 09 [Epub ahead of print]

Jacqueline Bogner, Kourosh Zolghadr, Ian Hickson, Tina Romer, Larisa Yurlova

ChromoTek GmbH, Martinsried, Germany., ChromoTek GmbH, Martinsried, Germany., Janssen R&D, LLC, A Division of Johnson & Johnson, Spring House, PA, United States., ChromoTek GmbH, Martinsried, Germany. Electronic address: ., ChromoTek GmbH, Martinsried, Germany.

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