Androgen receptor (AR) differential roles in hormone-related tumors including prostate, bladder, kidney, lung, breast and liver

Oncogene. 2014 Jun 19;33(25):3225-34. doi: 10.1038/onc.2013.274. Epub 2013 Jul 22.


The androgen receptor (AR) is expressed in many cell types and the androgen/AR signaling has been found to have important roles in modulating tumorigenesis and metastasis in several cancers including prostate, bladder, kidney, lung, breast and liver. However, whether AR has differential roles in the individual cells within these tumors that contain a variety of cell types remains unclear. Generation of AR knockout (ARKO) mouse models with deletion of AR in selective cells within tumors indeed have uncovered many unique AR roles in the individual cell types during cancer development and progression. This review will discuss the results obtained from various ARKO mice and different human cell lines with special attention to the cell type- and tissue-specific ARKO models. The understanding of various results showing the AR indeed has distinct and contrasting roles in each cell type within many hormone-related tumors (as stimulator in bladder, kidney and lung metastases vs as suppressor in prostate and liver metastases) may eventually help us to develop better therapeutic approaches by targeting the AR or its downstream signaling in individual cell types to better battle these hormone-related tumors in different stages.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Hormones / genetics*
  • Hormones / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Receptors, Androgen / genetics*
  • Receptors, Androgen / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / genetics


  • Hormones
  • Receptors, Androgen