The action of androgens in regulating development and growth is mediated by androgen receptor (AR). AR is a member of the steroid hormone receptor superfamily, a class of receptors that function through their ability to regulate the transcription of specific genes. The AR is located in various target tissues, with its levels and activity altered with the onset of various cellular events (e.g., sexual development, malignant transformation). The modulation of AR levels occurs through a number of mechanisms, including transcription, and is regulated by various factors (e.g., androgens). The ability of AR to modulate gene transcription is through its interaction with specific DNA sequences located near or within the target gene promoter. The importance of the AR in reproductive physiology has been emphasized by the finding of AR mutations, leading to a variety of disorders, including testicular feminization syndrome. In this article, we review the structure and function of AR and the role AR plays in the function of the mammalian system.