Zebrafish (Danio rerio) androgen receptor: sequence homology and up-regulation by the fungicide vinclozolin

Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol. 2010 Mar;151(2):161-6. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpc.2009.10.001.


Steroid hormones regulate gene expression in organisms by binding to receptor proteins. These hormones include the androgens, which signal through androgen receptors (ARs). Endocrine disrupters (EDCs) are chemicals in the environment that adversely affect organisms by binding to nuclear receptors, including ARs. Vinclozolin, a fungicide used on fruit and vegetable crops, is a known anti-androgen, a type of EDC that blocks signals from testosterone and its derivatives. In order to better understand the effects of EDCs, further research on androgen receptors and other hormone signaling pathways is necessary. In this study, we demonstrate the evolutionary conservation between the genomic structure of the human and zebrafish ar genes and find that ar mRNA expression increases in zebrafish embryos exposed to vinclozolin, which may be evolutionarily conserved as well. At 48 and 72 h post-fertilization, vinclozolin-treated embryos express ar mRNA 8-fold higher than the control level. These findings suggest that zebrafish embryos attempt to compensate for the presence of an anti-androgen by increasing the number of androgen receptors available.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / drug effects
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / embryology
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / metabolism
  • Female
  • Fungicides, Industrial / toxicity
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / drug effects
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oxazoles / toxicity
  • Phylogeny
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Receptors, Androgen / classification
  • Receptors, Androgen / genetics*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Up-Regulation / drug effects
  • Zebrafish / embryology
  • Zebrafish / genetics*
  • Zebrafish Proteins / genetics*


  • Fungicides, Industrial
  • Oxazoles
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Androgen
  • Zebrafish Proteins
  • vinclozolin

Associated data

  • GENBANK/EU708622