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Relationship: 2124


A descriptive phrase which clearly defines the two KEs being considered and the sequential relationship between them (i.e., which is upstream, and which is downstream). More help

Decrease, AR activation leads to Altered, Transcription of genes by the AR

Upstream event
The causing Key Event (KE) in a Key Event Relationship (KER). More help
Downstream event
The responding Key Event (KE) in a Key Event Relationship (KER). More help

Key Event Relationship Overview

The utility of AOPs for regulatory application is defined, to a large extent, by the confidence and precision with which they facilitate extrapolation of data measured at low levels of biological organisation to predicted outcomes at higher levels of organisation and the extent to which they can link biological effect measurements to their specific causes.Within the AOP framework, the predictive relationships that facilitate extrapolation are represented by the KERs. Consequently, the overall WoE for an AOP is a reflection in part, of the level of confidence in the underlying series of KERs it encompasses. Therefore, describing the KERs in an AOP involves assembling and organising the types of information and evidence that defines the scientific basis for inferring the probable change in, or state of, a downstream KE from the known or measured state of an upstream KE. More help

AOPs Referencing Relationship

AOP Name Adjacency Weight of Evidence Quantitative Understanding Point of Contact Author Status OECD Status
Decreased testosterone synthesis leading to short anogenital distance (AGD) in male (mammalian) offspring adjacent High Moderate Cataia Ives (send email) Under development: Not open for comment. Do not cite Under Development
Androgen receptor (AR) antagonism leading to nipple retention (NR) in male (mammalian) offspring adjacent Moderate Moderate Evgeniia Kazymova (send email) Under development: Not open for comment. Do not cite Under Development
Androgen receptor (AR) antagonism leading to decreased fertility in females adjacent Cataia Ives (send email) Under development: Not open for comment. Do not cite Under Development

Taxonomic Applicability

Latin or common names of a species or broader taxonomic grouping (e.g., class, order, family) that help to define the biological applicability domain of the KER.In general, this will be dictated by the more restrictive of the two KEs being linked together by the KER.  More help
Term Scientific Term Evidence Link
mammals mammals High NCBI

Sex Applicability

An indication of the the relevant sex for this KER. More help
Sex Evidence
Mixed High

Life Stage Applicability

An indication of the the relevant life stage(s) for this KER.  More help
Term Evidence
During development and at adulthood High

Key Event Relationship Description

Provides a concise overview of the information given below as well as addressing details that aren’t inherent in the description of the KEs themselves. More help

The androgen receptor (AR) is a ligand-dependent nuclear transcription factor that upon activation translocates to the nucleus, dimerizes, and binds androgen response elements (AREs) to modulate transcription of target genes (Lamont and Tindall, 2010, Roy et al. 2001). Decreased activation of the AR affects its transcription factor activity, therefore leading to altered AR-target gene expression. This KER refers to decreased AR activation and altered gene expression occurring in complex systems, such as in vivo and the specific effect on transcription of AR target genes will depend on species, life stage, tissue, cell type etc.

Evidence Collection Strategy

Include a description of the approach for identification and assembly of the evidence base for the KER. For evidence identification, include, for example, a description of the sources and dates of information consulted including expert knowledge, databases searched and associated search terms/strings.  Include also a description of study screening criteria and methodology, study quality assessment considerations, the data extraction strategy and links to any repositories/databases of relevant references.Tabular summaries and links to relevant supporting documentation are encouraged, wherever possible. More help

The KER is considered canonical knowledge and supporting literature was mainly sourced from key review articles from the open literature.

Evidence Supporting this KER

Addresses the scientific evidence supporting KERs in an AOP setting the stage for overall assessment of the AOP. More help
Biological Plausibility
Addresses the biological rationale for a connection between KEupstream and KEdownstream.  This field can also incorporate additional mechanistic details that help inform the relationship between KEs, this is useful when it is not practical/pragmatic to represent these details as separate KEs due to the difficulty or relative infrequency with which it is likely to be measured.   More help

The biological plausibility for this KER is considered high

The AR is a ligand-activated transcription factor part of the steroid hormone nuclear receptor family. Non-activated AR is found in the cytoplasm as a multiprotein complex with heat-shock proteins, immunophilins and, other chaperones (Roy et al. 2001). Upon activation through ligand binding, the AR dissociates from the protein complex, translocates to the nucleus and homodimerizes. Facilitated by co-regulators, AR can bind to DNA regions containing AREs and initiate transcription of target genes, that thus will be different in e.g. different tissues, life-stages, species etc.

Through mapping of AREs and ChIP sequencing studies, several AR target genes have been identified, mainly studied in prostate cells (Jin, Kim, and Yu 2013). Different co-regulators and ligands lead to altered expression of different sets of genes (Jin et al. 2013; Kanno et al. 2022). Alternative splicing of the AR can lead to different AR variants that also affects which genes are transcribed (Jin et al. 2013).

Apart from this canonical signaling pathway, the AR can suppress gene expression, indirectly regulate miRNA transcription, and have non-genomic effects by rapid activation of second messenger pathways in either presence or absence of a ligand (Jin et al. 2013).

Uncertainties and Inconsistencies
Addresses inconsistencies or uncertainties in the relationship including the identification of experimental details that may explain apparent deviations from the expected patterns of concordance. More help

AR action has been reported to occur also without ligand binding. However, not much is known about the extent and biological implications of such non-canonical, ligand-independent AR activation (Bennesch and Picard 2015).

Known modulating factors

This table captures specific information on the MF, its properties, how it affects the KER and respective references.1.) What is the modulating factor? Name the factor for which solid evidence exists that it influences this KER. Examples: age, sex, genotype, diet 2.) Details of this modulating factor. Specify which features of this MF are relevant for this KER. Examples: a specific age range or a specific biological age (defined by...); a specific gene mutation or variant, a specific nutrient (deficit or surplus); a sex-specific homone; a certain threshold value (e.g. serum levels of a chemical above...) 3.) Description of how this modulating factor affects this KER. Describe the provable modification of the KER (also quantitatively, if known). Examples: increase or decrease of the magnitude of effect (by a factor of...); change of the time-course of the effect (onset delay by...); alteration of the probability of the effect; increase or decrease of the sensitivity of the downstream effect (by a factor of...) 4.) Provision of supporting scientific evidence for an effect of this MF on this KER. Give a list of references.  More help
Modulating Factor (MF) MF Specification Effect(s) on the KER Reference(s)
Age AR expression in aging male rats Tissue-specific alterations in AR activity with aging (Supakar et al. 1993; Wu, Lin, and Gore 2009)
Genotype Number of CAG repeats in the first exon of AR Decreased AR activation with increased number of CAGs

(Tut et al. 1997; Chamberlain et al. 1994)

Response-response Relationship
Provides sources of data that define the response-response relationships between the KEs.  More help

There is not enough data to define a quantitative relationship between AR activation and alteration of AR target gene transcription, and such a relationship will differ between biological systems (species, tissue, cell type, life stage etc).

Information regarding the approximate time-scale of the changes in KEdownstream relative to changes in KEupstream (i.e., do effects on KEdownstream lag those on KEupstream by seconds, minutes, hours, or days?). More help

AR and promoter interactions occur within 15 minutes of ligand binding, RNA polymerase II and coactivator recruitment are proposed to occur transiently with cycles of approximately 90 minutes in LNCaP cells (Kang et al. 2002). RNA polymerase II elongation rates in mammalian cells have been shown to range between 1.3 and 4.3 kb/min (Maiuri et al. 2011). Therefore, depending on the cell type and the half-life of the AR target gene transcripts, changes are to be expected within hours.

Known Feedforward/Feedback loops influencing this KER
Define whether there are known positive or negative feedback mechanisms involved and what is understood about their time-course and homeostatic limits. More help

AR has been hypothesized to auto-regulate its mRNA and protein levels (Mora and Mahesh 1999).

Domain of Applicability

A free-text section of the KER description that the developers can use to explain their rationale for the taxonomic, life stage, or sex applicability structured terms. More help

This KER is applicable for both sexes, across developmental stages into adulthood, in numerous cells and tissues and across mammalian taxa. It is, however, acknowledged that this KER most likely has a much broader domain of applicability extending to non-mammalian vertebrates. AOP developers are encouraged to add additional relevant knowledge to expand on the applicability to also include other vertebrates.


List of the literature that was cited for this KER description. More help

Ayobahan, S. U., Alvincz, J., Reinwald, H., Strompen, J., Salinas, G., Schäfers, C., et al. (2023). Comprehensive identification of gene expression fingerprints and biomarkers of sexual endocrine disruption in zebrafish embryo. Ecotoxicol. Environ. Saf. 250, 114514. doi:10.1016/J.ECOENV.2023.114514.

Bennesch, Marcela A., and Didier Picard. 2015. “Minireview: Tipping the Balance: Ligand-Independent Activation of Steroid Receptors.” Molecular Endocrinology 29(3):349–63.

Chamberlain, Nancy L., Erika D. Driverand, and Roger L. Miesfeldi. 1994. The Length and Location of CAG Trinucleotide Repeats in the Androgen Receptor N-Terminal Domain Affect Transactivation Function. Vol. 22.

Denolet, Evi, Karel De Gendt, Joke Allemeersch, Kristof Engelen, Kathleen Marchal, Paul Van Hummelen, Karen A. L. Tan, Richard M. Sharpe, Philippa T. K. Saunders, Johannes V. Swinnen, and Guido Verhoeven. 2006. “The Effect of a Sertoli Cell-Selective Knockout of the Androgen Receptor on Testicular Gene Expression in Prepubertal Mice.” Molecular Endocrinology 20(2):321–34. doi: 10.1210/me.2005-0113.

Fan, Wuqiang, Toshihiko Yanase, Masatoshi Nomura, Taijiro Okabe, Kiminobu Goto, Takashi Sato, Hirotaka Kawano, Shigeaki Kato, and Hajime Nawata. 2005. Androgen Receptor Null Male Mice Develop Late-Onset Obesity Caused by Decreased Energy Expenditure and Lipolytic Activity but Show Normal Insulin Sensitivity With High Adiponectin Secretion. Vol. 54.

Holterhus, Paul-Martin, Olaf Hiort, Janos Demeter, Patrick O. Brown, and James D. Brooks. 2003. Differential Gene-Expression Patterns in Genital Fibroblasts of Normal Males and 46,XY Females with Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome: Evidence for Early Programming Involving the Androgen Receptor. Vol. 4.

Ikeda, Yasumasa, Ken Ichi Aihara, Takashi Sato, Masashi Akaike, Masanori Yoshizumi, Yuki Suzaki, Yuki Izawa, Mitsunori Fujimura, Shunji Hashizume, Midori Kato, Shusuke Yagi, Toshiaki Tamaki, Hirotaka Kawano, Takahiro Matsumoto, Hiroyuki Azuma, Shigeaki Kato, and Toshio Matsumoto. 2005. “Androgen Receptor Gene Knockout Male Mice Exhibit Impaired Cardiac Growth and Exacerbation of Angiotensin II-Induced Cardiac Fibrosis.” Journal of Biological Chemistry 280(33):29661–66. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M411694200.

Jin, Hong Jian, Jung Kim, and Jindan Yu. 2013. “Androgen Receptor Genomic Regulation.” Translational Andrology and Urology 2(3):158–77.

Kang, Zhigang, Asta Pirskanen, Olli A. Jänne, and Jorma J. Palvimo. 2002. “Involvement of Proteasome in the Dynamic Assembly of the Androgen Receptor Transcription Complex.” Journal of Biological Chemistry 277(50):48366–71. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M209074200.

Kanno, Yuichiro, Nao Saito, Ryota Saito, Tomohiro Kosuge, Ryota Shizu, Tomofumi Yatsu, Takuomi Hosaka, Kiyomitsu Nemoto, Keisuke Kato, and Kouichi Yoshinari. 2022. “Differential DNA-Binding and Cofactor Recruitment Are Possible Determinants of the Synthetic Steroid YK11-Dependent Gene Expression by Androgen Receptor in Breast Cancer MDA-MB 453 Cells.” Experimental Cell Research 419(2). doi: 10.1016/j.yexcr.2022.113333.

Karlsson, Sara A., Erik Studer, Petronella Kettunen, and Lars Westberg. 2016. “Neural Androgen Receptors Modulate Gene Expression and Social Recognition but Not Social Investigation.” Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 10(MAR). doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2016.00041.

Knapczyk-Stwora, Katarzyna, Anna Nynca, Renata E. Ciereszko, Lukasz Paukszto, Jan P. Jastrzebski, Elzbieta Czaja, Patrycja Witek, Marek Koziorowski, and Maria Slomczynska. 2019. “Flutamide-Induced Alterations in Transcriptional Profiling of Neonatal Porcine Ovaries.” Journal of Animal Science and Biotechnology 10(1):1–15. doi: 10.1186/s40104-019-0340-y.

Lamont, K. R., and Tindall, D. J. (2010). Androgen Regulation of Gene Expression. Adv. Cancer Res. 107, 137–162. doi:10.1016/S0065-230X(10)07005-3.

MacLean, Helen E., W. S. Maria Chiu, Amanda J. Notini, Anna-Maree Axell, Rachel A. Davey, Julie F. McManus, Cathy Ma, David R. Plant, Gordon S. Lynch, and Jeffrey D. Zajac. 2008. “ Impaired Skeletal Muscle Development and Function in Male, but Not Female, Genomic Androgen Receptor Knockout Mice .” The FASEB Journal 22(8):2676–89. doi: 10.1096/fj.08-105726.

Maiuri, Paolo, Anna Knezevich, Alex De Marco, Davide Mazza, Anna Kula, Jim G. McNally, and Alessandro Marcello. 2011. “Fast Transcription Rates of RNA Polymerase II in Human Cells.” EMBO Reports 12(12):1280–85. doi: 10.1038/embor.2011.196.

Mora, Gloria R., and Virendra B. Mahesh. 1999. Autoregulation of the Androgen Receptor at the Translational Level: Testosterone Induces Accumulation of Androgen Receptor MRNA in the Rat Ventral Prostate Polyribosomes.

Peng, Yajie, Hui Zhu, Bing Han, Yue Xu, Xuemeng Liu, Huaidong Song, and Jie Qiao. 2021. “Identification of Potential Genes in Pathogenesis and Diagnostic Value Analysis of Partial Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome Using Bioinformatics Analysis.” Frontiers in Endocrinology 12. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2021.731107.

Rana, Kesha, Barbara C. Fam, Michele V Clarke, Tammy P. S. Pang, Jeffrey D. Zajac, and Helen E. Maclean. 2011. “Increased Adiposity in DNA Binding-Dependent Androgen Receptor Knockout Male Mice Associated with Decreased Voluntary Activity and Not Insulin Resistance.” Am J Physiol Endocrinol Me-Tab 301:767–78. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00584.2010.-In.

Roy, Arun K., Rakesh K. Tyagi, Chung S. Song, Yan Lavrovsky, Soon C. Ahn, Tae Sung Oh, and Bandana Chatterjee. 2001. “Androgen Receptor: Structural Domains and Functional Dynamics after Ligand-Receptor Interaction.” Pp. 44–57 in Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Vol. 949. New York Academy of Sciences.

Russell, Patricia K., Michele V. Clarke, Jarrod P. Skinner, Tammy P. S. Pang, Jeffrey D. Zajac, and Rachel A. Davey. 2012. “Identification of Gene Pathways Altered by Deletion of the Androgen Receptor Specifically in Mineralizing Osteoblasts and Osteocytes in Mice.” Journal of Molecular Endocrinology 49(1):1–10. doi: 10.1530/JME-12-0014.

Shiina, Hiroko, Takahiro Matsumoto, Takashi Sato, Katsuhide Igarashi, Junko Miyamoto, Sayuri Takemasa, Matomo Sakari, Ichiro Takada, Takashi Nakamura, Daniel Metzger, Pierre Chambon, Jun Kanno, Hiroyuki Yoshikawa, and Shigeaki Kato. 2006. Premature Ovarian Failure in Androgen Receptor-Deficient Mice. Vol. 103.

Supakar, P. C., C. S. Song, M. H. Jung, M. A. Slomczynska, J. M. Kim, R. L. Vellanoweth, B. Chatterjee, and A. K. Roy. 1993. “A Novel Regulatory Element Associated with Age-Dependent Expression of the Rat Androgen Receptor Gene.” Journal of Biological Chemistry 268(35):26400–408. doi: 10.1016/s0021-9258(19)74328-2.

Tut, Thein G., Farid J. Ghadessy, M. A. Trifiro, L. Pinsky, and E. L. Yong. 1997. Long Polyglutamine Tracts in the Androgen Receptor Are Associated with Reduced Trans-Activation, Impaired Sperm Production, and Male Infertility*. Vol. 82.

Wang, Ruey Sheng, Shuyuan Yeh, Lu Min Chen, Hung Yun Lin, Caixia Zhang, Jing Ni, Cheng Chia Wu, P. Anthony Di Sant’Agnese, Karen L. DeMesy-Bentley, Chii Ruey Tzeng, and Chawnshang Chang. 2006. “Androgen Receptor in Sertoli Cell Is Essential for Germ Cell Nursery and Junctional Complex Formation in Mouse Testes.” Endocrinology 147(12):5624–33. doi: 10.1210/en.2006-0138.

Welsh, M., L. Moffat, K. Belling, L. R. de França, T. M. Segatelli, P. T. K. Saunders, R. M. Sharpe, and L. B. Smith. 2012. “Androgen Receptor Signalling in Peritubular Myoid Cells Is Essential for Normal Differentiation and Function of Adult Leydig Cells.” International Journal of Andrology 35(1):25–40. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2605.2011.01150.x.

Willems, Ariane, Sergio R. Batlouni, Arantza Esnal, Johannes V. Swinnen, Philippa T. K. Saunders, Richard M. Sharpe, Luiz R. França, Karel de Gendt, and Guido Verhoeven. 2010. “Selective Ablation of the Androgen Receptor in Mouse Sertoli Cells Affects Sertoli Cell Maturation, Barrier Formation and Cytoskeletal Development.” PLoS ONE 5(11). doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0014168.

Wu, D. I., Grace Lin, and Andrea C. Gore. 2009. “Age-Related Changes in Hypothalamic Androgen Receptor and Estrogen Receptor in Male Rats.” The Journal of Comparative Neurology 512:688–701. doi: 10.1002/cne.21925.

Yu, I. Chen, Hung Yun Lin, Ning Chun Liu, Ruey Shen Wang, Janet D. Sparks, Shuyuan Yeh, and Chawnshang Chang. 2008. “Hyperleptinemia without Obesity in Male Mice Lacking Androgen Receptor in Adipose Tissue.” Endocrinology 149(5):2361–68. doi: 10.1210/en.2007-0516.

Yu, Shengqiang, Chiuan Ren Yeh, Yuanjie Niu, Hong Chiang Chang, Yu Chieh Tsai, Harold L. Moses, Chih Rong Shyr, Chawnshang Chang, and Shuyuan Yeh. 2012. “Altered Prostate Epithelial Development in Mice Lacking the Androgen Receptor in Stromal Fibroblasts.” Prostate 72(4):437–49. doi: 10.1002/pros.21445.

Zhang, Caixia, Shuyuan Yeh, Yen-Ta Chen, Cheng-Chia Wu, Kuang-Hsiang Chuang, Hung-Yun Lin, Ruey-Sheng Wang, Yu-Jia Chang, Chamindrani Mendis-Handagama, Liquan Hu, Henry Lardy, Chawnshang Chang, and † † George. 2006. Oligozoospermia with Normal Fertility in Male Mice Lacking the Androgen Receptor in Testis Peritubular Myoid Cells.

Zhou, Wei, Gensheng Wang, Christopher L. Small, Zhilin Liu, Connie C. Weng, Lizhong Yang, Michael D. Griswold, and Marvin L. Meistrich. 2011. “Erratum: Gene Expression Alterations by Conditional Knockout of Androgen Receptor in Adult Sertoli Cells of Utp14bjsd/Jsd (Jsd) Mice (Biology of Reproduction (2010) 83, (759-766) DOI: 10.1095/Biolreprod.110.085472).” Biology of Reproduction 84(2):400–408.