Elizabeth Wilson

Research: Androgen regulation of gene expression

Elizabeth Wilson

Professor of Pediatrics, UNC-CH
Joint Appointment in Biochemistry and Biophysics
PhD - Vanderbilt University 
3201 MBRB
CB# 7500
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7260



Androgen Regulation of Gene Expression

Steroid hormone receptors are ligand-activated transcription factors that regulate gene expression by binding specific DNA sequences and interacting with other transcriptional regulatory proteins. We study the androgen receptor, the steroid receptor that mediates the biological effects of testosterone and dihydrotestosterone. Our focus is understanding molecular mechanisms of androgen receptor action. We use a variety of techniques to establish structure-function relationships in the ligand binding, DNA binding and transcriptional activation domains of the receptor. Specific naturally occurring mutations in the androgen receptor gene cause the androgen insensitivity syndrome that help in studies on receptor domain activity. Coactivator and corepressor proteins are being identified and characterized which interact with the receptor to modulate gene expression. We are determining mechanisms for androgen receptor reactivation in castration-recurrent prostate cancer


  • Wilson EM 2014 Invited Research Highlight: More evidence intratumoral DHT synthesis drives castration-resistant prostate cancer. Asian J Andrology 16:99-100
  • Tan J, Bai S, Grossman G, Titus M, Ford OH, Pop EA, Smith GJ, Mohler JL, Wilson EM, French FS 2014 Mechanisms of androgen receptor corepression by CKbBP2/CRIF1, a multifunctional transcription factor coregulator expressed in prostate cancer. Mol Cell Endocrinol 382:302-313
  • Wilson EM 2015 Primate-specific multi-functional androgen receptor coregulator and proto-oncogene melanoma antigen-A11 (MAGE-A11). Chapter 15. In: Nuclear Receptors: From Structure to the Clinic, McEwan IJ, Kumar R (eds) Springer, in press 
  • James SR, Cedeno CD, Sharma A, Zhang W, Mohler JL, Odunsi K, Wilson EM, Karpf AR 2013 DNA methylation and nucleosome occupancy regulate the cancer germline antigen gene MAGEA11. Epigenetics 8:849-863
  • Su S, Minges JT, Grossman G, Blackwelder AJ, Mohler JL, Wilson EM 2013 Proto-oncogene activity of melanoma antigen-A11 (MAGE-A11) regulates retinoblastoma-related p107 and E2F1. J Biol Chem 288:24809-24824
  • Minges JT, Su S, Grossman G, Blackwelder AJ, Pop EA, Mohler JL, Wilson EM 2013 Melanoma antigen-A11 (MAGE-A11) enhances transcriptional activity by linking androgen receptor dimers. J Biol Chem 288:1939-1952
  • Askew EB, Minges JT, Hnat AT, Wilson EM 2012 Structural features discriminate androgen receptor N/C terminal and coactivator interactions. Mol Cell Endo 348:403-410
  • Titus MA, Zeithaml B, Kantor B, Li X, Haack K, Moore DT, Wilson EM, Mohler JL, Kafri T 2012 Dominant-negative androgen receptor inhibition of intracrine androgen-dependent growth of castration-recurrent prostate cancer. PLoS One 7:e30192
  • Lagarde WH, Blackwelder AJ, Minges JT, Hnat AT, French FS, Wilson EM 2012 Androgen receptor exon 1 mutation causes androgen insensitivity by creating a phosphorylation site and inhibiting MAGE-A11 activation of NH2- and carboxyl-terminal interaction-dependent transactivation. J Biol Chem 287:10905-10915
  • Aninye IO, Berg KC, Mollo AR, Nordeen SK, Wilson EM, Shapiro DJ 2012 8-Alkylthio-6-thio-substituted theophylline analogues as selective noncompetitive progesterone receptor antagonists. Steroids 77:596-601
  • Cherian MT, Wilson EM, Shapiro DJ 2012 A competitive inhibitor that reduces recruitment of androgen receptor to androgen-responsive genes. J Biol Chem 287:23368-23380
  • Su S, Blackwelder AJ, Grossman G, Minges JT, Yuan L, Young SL, Wilson EM 2012 Primate-specific melanoma antigen-A11 regulates isoform-specific human progesterone receptor-B transactivation. J Biol Chem 287:34809-34824

Lab Contact: 

Lab Rooms: 3201 MBRB
Lab Phone: 919-966-5168
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