Tissue control of androgen action: The ups and downs of androgen receptor expression

Irene Hunter, Colin W Hay, Bianca Esswein, Kate Watt, Iain J McEwan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)


The hormone testosterone plays crucial roles during male development and puberty and throughout life, as an anabolic regulator of muscle and bone structure and function. The actions of testosterone are mediated, primarily, through the androgen receptor, a member of the nuclear receptor superfamily. The androgen receptor gene is located on the X-chromosome and receptor levels are tightly controlled both at the level of transcription of the gene and post-translationally at the protein level. Sp1 has emerged as the major driver of expression of the androgen receptor gene, while auto-regulation by androgens is associated with both positive and negative regulation in a possible cell-selective manner. Research into the networks of positive and negative regulators of the androgen receptor gene are vital in order to understand the temporal and spatial control of receptor levels and the consequences for healthy aging and disease. A clear understanding of the multiple transcription factors participating in regulation of the androgen receptor gene will likely aid in the development and application of hormone therapies to boast or curb receptor activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-35
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
Early online date5 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2018

Bibliographical note

Work in the McEwan Laboratory is funded by the Chief Scientist Office of Scottish Government: Grants ETM-258 and ETM-382. BE is supported by an Erasmus scholarship.


  • Tissue-selective gene regulation
  • Sp1
  • Breast
  • Bone
  • Prostate
  • Auto-regulation
  • Positive/negative feedback


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