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Mol Cell Endocrinol. 1996 Jun 18;120(1):51-7.

A and B forms of the androgen receptor are expressed in a variety of human tissues.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas 75235-9041, USA.


Human genital skin fibroblasts contain both the full-length 110 K androgen receptor protein (AR-B, apparent M(r) approximately 110,000) and an 87 K N-terminally truncated AR isoform (AR-A, apparent M(r) approximately 87,000). These two AR species are structurally analogous to the A- and B-isoforms of the progesterone receptor (PR). We examined the distribution pattern of human AR isoforms in a variety of fetal and adult tissues by Western blot analysis. Relative levels of immunoreactive AR proteins in high salt tissue extracts were estimated by densitometry in comparison to a standard normal genital skin fibroblast preparation. High AR levels (AR-A + AR-B = 0.8-7.7) were present in male and female reproductive tissues from mid-trimester fetuses, including penis, prostate, testis, epididymis, scrotal skin, labial skin, uterus/cervix, and ovary. AR-A and AR-B (0.08-0.9) also were found in 14 non-genital fetal tissues (bladder, fat, lung, great vessel, trachea, muscle, scalp skin, kidney, thyroid, intestine, thymus, ureter, stomach and rectum). AR-A accounted for 4-26% of the AR protein detected in these tissues. Ten other fetal tissues had low levels of AR-B (0.02-0.3) and little or no detectable AR-A. AR-B also was the predominant or only immunoreactive AR species found in 17 adult human tissues. AR levels in adult reproductive tissues (prostate, endometrium, ovary, uterus, fallopian tube, testis, seminal vesicle, myometrium, and ejaculatory duct) ranged from 0.1 to 2.2. Immunoreactive AR (0.4-0.8) also was present in specimens of prostate carcinoma, endometrial carcinoma, thyroid carcinoma and kidney. Lower levels of AR (0.03-0.1) were detected in adult breast, colon, lung and adrenal gland specimens. This study demonstrates that immunoreactive AR protein is present in a wide variety of human fetal and adult tissues and that two AR isoforms are expressed in many tissues.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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