Androgens play a crucial role in several stages of male development and in the maintenance of the male phenotype. Androgens act in their target cells via an interaction with the androgen receptor, resulting in direct regulation of gene expression. The androgen receptor is a phosphoprotein and modulation of the phosphorylation status of the receptor influences ligand-binding and consequently transcription activation of androgen responsive genes. Androgen binding induces a conformational change in the ligand-binding domain, accompanied by additional receptor phosphorylation. Subsequently the liganded androgen receptor interacts with specific androgen response elements in the regulatory regions of androgen target genes, resulting in stimulation of gene expression. Anti-androgens induce a different conformational change of the ligand-binding domain, which does not or only partially result in stimulation of transactivation. Interestingly, different anti-androgens can induce different inactive conformations of the androgen receptor ligand-binding domain. Recent evidence strongly supports a ligand dependent functional interaction between the ligand-binding domain and the NH2-terminal transactivating domain of the androgen receptor. Two regions in the NH2- terminal domain are involved in this interaction, whereas in the ligand- binding domain the AF-2 AD core region is involved.

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Journal The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Brinkmann, A.O, Blok, L.J, de Ruiter, P.E, Doesburg, P, Steketee, K, Berrevoets, C.A, & Trapman, J. (1999). Mechanisms of androgen receptor activation and function. In The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (Vol. 69, pp. 307–313). doi:10.1016/S0960-0760(99)00049-7