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Reviewed May 2008
What is the official name of the AR gene?
The official name of this gene is “androgen receptor.”
AR is the gene's official symbol. The AR gene is also known by other names, listed below.
Read more about gene names and symbols on the About page.
What is the normal function of the AR gene?
The AR gene provides instructions for making a protein called an androgen receptor. Androgens are hormones (such as testosterone) that are important for normal male sexual development before birth and during puberty. Androgen receptors allow the body to respond appropriately to these hormones. The receptors are present in many of the body's tissues, where they attach (bind) to androgens. The resulting androgen-receptor complex then binds to DNA and regulates the activity of androgen-responsive genes. By turning the genes on or off as necessary, the androgen receptor helps direct the development of male sexual characteristics. Androgens and androgen receptors also have other important functions in both males and females, such as regulating hair growth and sex drive.
In one region of the AR gene, a DNA segment known as CAG is repeated multiple times. This CAG segment is called a triplet or trinucleotide repeat. In most people, the number of CAG repeats in the AR gene ranges from fewer than 10 to about 36.
Does the AR gene share characteristics with other genes?
The AR gene belongs to a family of genes called NR (nuclear hormone receptors).
A gene family is a group of genes that share important characteristics. Classifying individual genes into families helps researchers describe how genes are related to each other. For more information, see What are gene families? in the Handbook.
How are changes in the AR gene related to health conditions?
Genetics Home Reference provides information about prostate cancer, which is also associated with changes in the AR gene.
Where is the AR gene located?
Cytogenetic Location: Xq12
Molecular Location on the X chromosome: base pairs 67,544,031 to 67,730,618
The AR gene is located on the long (q) arm of the X chromosome at position 12.
More precisely, the AR gene is located from base pair 67,544,031 to base pair 67,730,618 on the X chromosome.
See How do geneticists indicate the location of a gene? in the Handbook.
Where can I find additional information about AR?
You and your healthcare professional may find the following resources about AR helpful.
You may also be interested in these resources, which are designed for genetics professionals and researchers.
What other names do people use for the AR gene or gene products?
See How are genetic conditions and genes named? in the Handbook.
Where can I find general information about genes?
The Handbook provides basic information about genetics in clear language.
These links provide additional genetics resources that may be useful.
What glossary definitions help with understanding AR?
alopecia ; androgens ; atrophy ; cancer ; cell ; dihydrotestosterone ; DNA ; endometrial ; gene ; inherited ; progression ; prostate ; protein ; puberty ; receptor ; syndrome ; testosterone ; trinucleotide repeat
You may find definitions for these and many other terms in the Genetics Home Reference Glossary.
See also Understanding Medical Terminology.
References (20 links)
The resources on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Users seeking information about a personal genetic disease, syndrome, or condition should consult with a qualified healthcare professional. See How can I find a genetics professional in my area? in the Handbook.