Cancer Stem Cells and Androgen Receptor Signaling: Partners in Disease Progression

Int J Mol Sci. 2023 Oct 11;24(20):15085. doi: 10.3390/ijms242015085.


Cancer stem cells exhibit self-renewal, tumorigenesis, and a high differentiation potential. These cells have been detected in every type of cancer, and different signaling pathways can regulate their maintenance and proliferation. Androgen receptor signaling plays a relevant role in the pathophysiology of prostate cancer, promoting cell growth and differentiation processes. However, in the case of prostate cancer stem cells, the androgen receptor negatively regulates their maintenance and self-renewal. On the other hand, there is evidence that androgen receptor activity positively regulates the generation of cancer stem cells in other types of neoplasia, such as breast cancer or glioblastoma. Thus, the androgen receptor role in cancer stem cells depends on the cellular context. We aimed to analyze androgen receptor signaling in the maintenance and self-renewal of different types of cancer stem cells and its action on the expression of transcription factors and surface markers associated with stemness.

Keywords: androgen receptor; breast cancer; cancer stem cell; glioblastoma; prostate cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells* / metabolism
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / metabolism
  • Receptors, Androgen* / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction


  • Receptors, Androgen