Structures of androgen receptor bound with ligands: advancing understanding of biological functions and drug discovery.

Androgen receptor (AR) is a ligand-dependent transcription factor and a member of the nuclear receptor superfamily. It plays a vital role in male sexual development and regulates gene expression in various tissues, including prostate. Androgens are compounds that exert their biological effects via interaction with AR. Binding of androgens to AR initiates conformational changes in AR that affect binding of co-regulator proteins and DNA. AR agonists and antagonists are widely used in a variety of clinical applications (i.e. hypogonadism and prostate cancer therapy). Areas covered: This review provides a close look at structures of AR-ligand complexes and mutations in the receptor that have been revealed, discusses current challenges in the field, and sheds light on future directions. Expert opinion: AR is one of the primary targets for the treatment of prostate cancer, as AR antagonists inhibit prostate cancer growth. However, these drugs are not effective for long-term treatment and lead to castration-resistant prostate cancer. The structures of AR-ligand complexes are an invaluable scientific asset that enhances our understanding of biological functions and mechanisms of androgenic and anti-androgenic chemicals as well as promotes the discovery of superior drug candidates.

Expert opinion on therapeutic targets. 2016 May 19 [Epub ahead of print]

Sugunadevi Sakkiah, Hui Wen Ng, Weida Tong, Huixiao Hong

a Division of Bioinformatics and Biostatistics , National Center for Toxicological Research, U.S. Food and Drug Administration , Jefferson , Arkansas 72079 , United States ., a Division of Bioinformatics and Biostatistics , National Center for Toxicological Research, U.S. Food and Drug Administration , Jefferson , Arkansas 72079 , United States ., a Division of Bioinformatics and Biostatistics , National Center for Toxicological Research, U.S. Food and Drug Administration , Jefferson , Arkansas 72079 , United States ., a Division of Bioinformatics and Biostatistics , National Center for Toxicological Research, U.S. Food and Drug Administration , Jefferson , Arkansas 72079 , United States .