The androgen receptor (AR) promotes the growth and differentiation of the normal prostate.
Prostate hyperplasia and prostate cancer are both also under control of AR-signaling.
The AR regulates also muscle function and other male specific sexual differentiation.
The AR is a member of the steroid receptors belonging to the nuclear hormone receptor superfamily. The AR is activated by androgen binding leading to its nuclear localisation, binding to chromatin and control of gene expression. The liganded AR has also regulatory function in the cytoplasm. The AR can also be activated by signal transducers that phosphorylate the AR. The strength of AR-signaling is also controlled by AR protein stability, subcellular localisation and the interaction with many other factors not only on chromatin.
The dysrgulation of AR-signaling in prostate hyperplasia and therapy resistant prostate cancer is not fully understood. Understanding in detail the AR function and dysregulation of AR-signaling in diseases will help to develop specific drug targets.