Androgenic hormones mediate their effects on male sex differentiation and development through a high affinity receptor protein. We report here cloning of the complete coding sequence of the human androgen receptor (hAR). By sequence homology hAR is a member of the nuclear receptor family, with closest sequence identity to the progesterone, mineralocorticoid, and glucocorticoid receptors. Regions of highest homology include the DNA-binding domain and a small region within the hydrophobic ligand-binding domain. Comparison of the deduced 919 amino acid sequence of hAR (98,999 mol wt) to the 902 amino acid sequence of rat AR (98,227 mol wt) reveals identical sequences in the DNA- and hormone-binding domains, with an overall homology of 85%. In human prostate, the major androgen receptor mRNA species is 10 kilobases while a less abundant mRNA is approximately 7 kilobases. Rabbit polyclonal antibodies were raised against a synthetic peptide from the N-terminal region of hAR. Immunocytochemical analysis of human prostate tissue demonstrated that AR is localized predominantly in nuclei of glandular epithelial cells.