The androgen receptor is a protein found in cells that binds to androgens, which are a class of hormones that includes testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT). When an androgen binds to the androgen receptor, it activates a series of molecular and cellular processes that ultimately lead to the physiological effects of androgens, such as the development and maintenance of male sex characteristics.
The androgen receptor is primarily expressed in cells in the reproductive system, such as the testes and prostate gland, as well as in some other tissues, including muscle and bone. It plays an important role in the development and maintenance of male reproductive organs, as well as in the regulation of muscle and bone growth.
Abnormalities or mutations in the androgen receptor can lead to a range of medical conditions, including androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS), which is a genetic disorder that affects the development of male sex characteristics. In AIS, the androgen receptor is either absent or not functional, which leads to incomplete or absent development of male genitalia and other male sex characteristics.
The androgen receptor is also a target for several medications, including androgen receptor antagonists, which are used to treat a variety of conditions, such as prostate cancer and androgenetic alopecia (male pattern baldness).