Send to

Choose Destination
J Steroid Biochem. 1987;27(4-6):1129-34.

Androgenic regulation of hepatic gene expression.

Author information

Department of Biological Sciences, Oakland University, Rochester, MI 48063.


Androgen-dependent synthesis of alpha 2u globulin in the rat liver has been used in our laboratory as a model for studying the effect of sex hormones on hepatic gene expression. alpha 2u Globulin is a group of low molecular weight (Mr approximately 18,000) male specific urinary proteins synthesized and secreted by hepatocytes. In the male rat hepatic synthesis of alpha 2u globulin begins at puberty (approximately 40 days), reaches a peak level (approximately 20 mg/day) at about 75 days and declines during old age. Androgens can induce alpha 2u globulin in ovariectomized female rats in vivo and in the liver perfusion system in vitro. However, both prepubertal and senescent (greater than 800 days) male rats not only do not produce alpha 2u globulin but are also refractory to androgen administration. alpha 2u Globulin is coded by a multigene family comprising about 20-30 gene copies per haploid genome. All of these gene copies seem to express translationally active mRNAs giving rise to individual isoforms of alpha 2u globulin. Appearance and disappearance of the cytoplasmic androgen-binding protein (CAB) correlates with the androgen responsiveness of hepatocytes. Photoaffinity labeling of the hepatic cytosol shows that the biologically active binding protein, found in the cytosol of the mature male rat liver, has a molecular weight of 31 kDa. A molecular transition of the 31-kDa CAB to a biologically inactive 29-kDa form may be the basis of hepatic androgen insensitivity during prepuberty and senescence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center