Androgen receptor (AR) coregulators: a diversity of functions converging on and regulating the AR transcriptional complex

Endocr Rev. 2007 Dec;28(7):778-808. doi: 10.1210/er.2007-0019. Epub 2007 Oct 16.


Androgens, acting through the androgen receptor (AR), are responsible for the development of the male phenotype during embryogenesis, the achievement of sexual maturation at puberty, and the maintenance of male reproductive function and behavior in adulthood. In addition, androgens affect a wide variety of nonreproductive tissues. Moreover, aberrant androgen action plays a critical role in multiple pathologies, including prostate cancer and androgen insensitivity syndromes. The formation of a productive AR transcriptional complex requires the functional and structural interaction of the AR with its coregulators. In the last decade, an overwhelming and ever increasing number of proteins have been proposed to possess AR coactivating or corepressing characteristics. Intriguingly, a vast diversity of functions has been ascribed to these proteins, indicating that a multitude of cellular functions and signals converge on the AR to regulate its function. The current review aims to provide an overview of the AR coregulator proteins identified to date and to propose a classification of these AR coregulator proteins according to the function(s) ascribed to them. Taken together, this approach will increase our understanding of the cellular pathways that converge on the AR to ensure an appropriate transcriptional response to androgens.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Androgens / metabolism*
  • Androgens / physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Receptors, Androgen / drug effects
  • Receptors, Androgen / genetics
  • Receptors, Androgen / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • AR protein, human
  • Androgens
  • Receptors, Androgen
  • Transcription Factors