Nuclear Receptors
Jacky K Leung, Amy H Tien, Marianne D Sadar

Androgen receptor (AR) belongs to the steroid hormone receptor group of ligand-activated transcription factors in the nuclear receptor superfamily. AR mediates the action of physiological and exogenous androgens to regulate the expression of a network of genes in target tissues that are essential for the development and maintenance of the male phenotype and reproductive function as well as the function of numerous other tissues in both males and females. AR is ubiquitously expressed throughout the body. AR is a modular protein that comprises an N-terminal domain (NTD) that contains all of its transcriptional activity, a DNA-binding domain, a flexible hinge region, and a C-terminal ligand-binding domain (LBD). All clinically approved hormonal therapies target the AR LBD, either directly with antiandrogens and selective AR modulators or indirectly by reducing levels of androgens. Pathological conditions related to AR dysfunction involve altered levels of androgens and structural alterations in the AR. These include mutations, polymorphisms in the polyglutamine tract of the NTD, and alternative splicing of AR to yield constitutively active receptors. From the extensive list of AR-related diseases, herein we describe prostate cancer, androgen-insensitivity syndrome, polycystic ovary syndrome, breast cancer, and a few more pathological conditions in more detail.

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