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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology