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Although ErbB receptors have been implicated in the progression of prostate cancer , little is known about proteins that may mediate their interactions with the androgen receptor (AR). Ebp1, a protein cloned via its association with the ErbB3 receptor, binds the androgen receptor (AR) and inhibits androgen-regulated transactivation of wild type AR in COS cells. As the complement of coregulators in different cells are important for AR activity, we determined the effect of Ebp1 on AR function in prostate cancer cell lines. In addition, we examined the regulation of Ebp1 function by the ErbB3/4 ligand heregulin (HRG). In this study, we demonstrate ,using several natural AR-regulated promoters ,that Ebp1 repressed transcriptional activation of wild type AR in prostate cancer cell lines. Down regulation of Ebp1 expression in LNCaP cells using siRNA resulted in activation of AR in the absence of androgen. Ebp1 associated with ErbB3 in LNCaP cells in the absence of HRG, but HRG induced the dissociation of Ebp1 from ErbB3. In contrast, HRG treatment enhanced both the association of Ebp1 with AR and also the ability of Ebp1 to repress AR transactivation. These studies suggest that Ebp1 is an AR corepressor whose biological activity can be regulated by the ErbB3 ligand, HRG.

[Proc Amer Assoc Cancer Res, Volume 46, 2005]