Kinetic and thermodynamic characterization of dihydrotestosterone-induced conformational perturbations in androgen receptor ligand-binding domain

Ravi Jasuja, Jagadish Ulloor, Christopher M. Yengo, Karen Choong, Andrei Y. Istomin, Dennis R. Livesay, Donald J. Jacobs, Ronald S. Swerdloff, Jaroslava Mikšovská, Randy W. Larsen, Shalender Bhasin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Ligand-induced conformational perturbations in androgen receptor (AR) are important in coactivator recruitment and transactivation. However, molecular rearrangements in AR ligand-binding domain (AR-LBD) associated with agonist binding and their kinetic and thermodynamic parameters are poorly understood. We used steady-state second-derivative absorption and emission spectroscopy, pressure and temperature perturbations, and 4,4́-bis-anilinonaphthalene 8-sulfonate (bis-ANS) partitioning to determine the kinetics and thermodynamics of the conformational changes in AR-LBD after dihydrotestosterone (DHT) binding. In presence of DHT, the secondderivative absorption spectrum showed a red shift and a change in peak-to-peak distance. Emission intensity increased upon DHT binding, and center of spectral mass was blue shifted, denoting conformational changes resulting in more hydrophobic environment for tyrosines and tryptophans within a more compact DHT-bound receptor. In pressure perturbation calorimetry, DHTinduced energetic stabilization increased the Gibbs free energy of unfolding to 8.4 ± 1.3 kcal/mol from 3.5 ± 1.6 kcal/mol. Bis-ANS partitioning studies revealed that upon DHT binding, AR-LBD underwent biphasic rearrangement with a high activation energy (13.4 kcal/mol). An initial, molten globule-like burst phase (k ∼30 sec-1) with greater solvent accessibility was followed by rearrangement (k ∼0.01 sec-1), leading to a more compact conformation than apo-AR-LBD. Molecular simulations demonstrated unique sensitivity of tyrosine and tryptophan residues during pressure unfolding with rearrangement of residues in the coactivator recruitment surfaces distant from the ligand-binding pocket. In conclusion, DHT binding leads to energetic stabilization of AR-LBD domain and substantial rearrangement of residues distant from the ligand-binding pocket. DHT binding to AR-LBD involves biphasic receptor rearrangement including population of a molten globule-like intermediate state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1231-1241
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Endocrinology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology


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