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Relationship: 2130


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

Antagonism, Androgen receptor leads to Decrease, AR activation

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
Androgen receptor (AR) antagonism leading to short anogenital distance (AGD) in male (mammalian) offspring adjacent High High Terje Svingen (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 Do not cite Under Development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 High Terje Svingen (send email) Under development: Not open for comment. Do not cite Under Development
Androgen receptor (AR) antagonism leading to hypospadias in male offspring adjacent High Terje Svingen (send email) Under development: Not open for comment. Do not cite
Androgen receptor (AR) antagonism leading to decreased fertility in females adjacent Terje Svingen (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 Do not cite Under Development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-activated steroid hormone nuclear receptor (Davey & Grossmann, 2016). In its inactive state, the AR locates to the cytoplasm (Roy et al., 2001). When activated, the AR translocates to the nucleus, dimerizes, and, together with co-regulators, binds to specific DNA regulatory sequences to regulate gene transcription (Davey & Grossmann, 2016) (Lamont and Tindall, 2010). This is considered the canonical AR signaling pathway. The AR can also activate non-genomic signalling (Jin et al., 2013). However, this KER focuses on the canonical pathway.

The two main AR ligands are the androgens testosterone (T) and the more potent dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Androgens bind to the AR to mediate downstream androgenic responses, such as male development and masculinization (Rey, 2021; Walters et al., 2010). Antagonism of the AR would decrease AR activation and therefore the downstream AR-mediated effects.  

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

This 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 belongs to the steroid hormone nuclear receptor family. The AR has 3 main domains essential for its activity, the N-terminal domain, the ligand binding domain, and the DNA binding domain (Roy et al., 2001). Ligands, such as T and DHT, must bind to the ligand binding domain to activate AR allowing it to fulfill its role as a transcription factor. The binding of the ligand induces a change in AR conformation allowing it to translocate to the nucleus and congregate into a subnuclear compartment (Marcelli et al., 2006; Roy et al., 2001) homodimerize and bind to the DNA target sequences and regulate transcription of target genes. Regulation of AR target genes is greatly facilitated by numerous co-factors. Active AR signaling is essential for male reproduction and sexual development and is also crucial in several other tissues and organs such as ovaries, the immune system, bones, and muscles (Ogino et al., 2011; Prizant et al., 2014; Rey, 2021; William H. Walker, 2021).

AR antagonists can compete with or prevent in different ways  AR ligand binding, thereby preventing AR activation. Antagonism of the AR can prevent translocation to the nucleus, compartmentalization, dimerization and DNA binding. Consequently, AR cannot regulate transcription of target genes and androgen signalling is disrupted. This can be observed using different AR activation assays such as AR dimerization, translocation, DNA binding or transcriptional activity assays (Brown et al., 2023; OECD, 2020).

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

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

 The quantitative relationship between AR antagonism and AR activation will depend on the type of antagonist.

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

Nuclear translocation in HeLa cells transfected with AR-GFP show a response within 2 hours after ligand exposure (Marcelli et al., 2006; Szafran et al., 2008). Another assay focusing on AR binding to promoters in LNCaP cells has shown that after ligand binding, AR is able to translocate and bind to the DNA sequences within 15min showing the speed of AR activation (Kang et al., 2002).

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 antagonism can lead to increased AR transcript stability and levels as a compensatory mechanism in prostate cancer cells (Dart et al., 2020). In turn, in presence of increased AR levels, AR antagonists can exhibit agonistic activity (Chen et al., 2003).

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 to mammals as AR expression and activity is highly conserved (Davey & Grossmann, 2016). AR activity is important for sexual development and reproduction in both males and females (Prizant et al., 2014; Walters et al., 2010). AR function is required during development, puberty, and adulthood. 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

Brown, E. C., Hallinger, D. R., Simmons, S. O., Puig-Castellví, F., Eilebrecht, E., Arnold, L., & Bioscience, P. A. (2023). High-throughput AR dimerization assay identifies androgen disrupting chemicals and metabolites. Front. Toxicol, 5, 1134783.

Chen, C. D., Welsbie, D. S., Tran, C., Baek, S. H., Chen, R., Vessella, R., Rosenfeld, M. G., & Sawyers, C. L. (2003). A R T I C L E S Molecular determinants of resistance to antiandrogen therapy. NATURE MEDICINE, 10(1).

Dart, D. A., Ashelford, K., & Jiang, W. G. (2020). AR mRNA stability is increased with AR-antagonist resistance via 3′UTR variants.

Davey, R. A., & Grossmann, M. (2016). Androgen Receptor Structure, Function and Biology: From Bench to Bedside. In Androgen Receptor Biology Clin Biochem Rev (Vol. 37, Issue 1).

Draskau, M. K., Boberg, J., Taxvig, C., Pedersen, M., Frandsen, H. L., Christiansen, S., & Svingen, T. (2019). In vitro and in vivo endocrine disrupting effects of the azole fungicides triticonazole and flusilazole. Environmental Pollution, 255, 113309.

Jin, H. J., Kim, J., & Yu, J. (2013). Androgen receptor genomic regulation. In Translational Andrology and Urology (Vol. 2, Issue 3, pp. 158–177). AME Publishing Company.

Kang, Z., Pirskanen, A., Jänne, O. A., & Palvimo, J. J. (2002). Involvement of Proteasome in the Dynamic Assembly of the Androgen Receptor Transcription Complex. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 277(50), 48366–48371.

Kjærstad, M. B., Taxvig, C., Nellemann, C., Vinggaard, A. M., & Andersen, H. R. (2010). Endocrine disrupting effects in vitro of conazole antifungals used as pesticides and pharmaceuticals. Reproductive Toxicology, 30(4), 573–582.

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.

Mahler, C., Verhelst, J., and Denis, L. (1998). Clinical pharmacokinetics of the antiandrogens and their efficacy in prostate cancer. Clin. Pharmacokinet. 34, 405–417. doi:10.2165/00003088-199834050-00005/METRICS.

Marcelli, M., Stenoien, D. L., Szafran, A. T., Simeoni, S., Agoulnik, I. U., Weigel, N. L., Moran, T., Mikic, I., Price, J. H., & Mancini, M. A. (2006). Quantifying effects of ligands on androgen receptor nuclear translocation, intranuclear dynamics, and solubility. Journal of Cellular Biochemistry, 98(4), 770–788.

OECD (2020). Test No. 458: Stably Transfected Human Androgen Receptor Transcriptional Activation Assay for Detection of Androgenic Agonist and Antagonist Activity of Chemicals. OECD Guide. Paris: OECD Publishing doi:10.1787/9789264264366-en.

Ogino, Y., Miyagawa, S., Katoh, H., Prins, G. S., Iguchi, T., & Yamada, G. (2011). Essential functions of androgen signaling emerged through the developmental analysis of vertebrate sex characteristics. Evolution & Development, 13(3), 315–325.

Pedersen, E. B., Christiansen, S., & Svingen, T. (2022). AOP key event relationship report: Linking androgen receptor antagonism with nipple retention. Current Research in Toxicology, 3, 100085.

Prizant, H., Gleicher, N., & Sen, A. (2014). Androgen actions in the ovary: balance is key. Journal of Endocrinology, 222(3), R141–R151.

Rey, R. A. (2021). The Role of Androgen Signaling in Male Sexual Development at Puberty. Endocrinology, 162(2).

Roy, A. K., Tyagi, R. K., Song, C. S., Lavrovsky, Y., Ahn, S. C., Oh, T. S., & Chatterjee, B. (2001). Androgen receptor: Structural domains and functional dynamics after ligand-receptor interaction. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 949, 44–57.

Sonneveld, E. (2005). Development of Androgen- and Estrogen-Responsive Bioassays, Members of a Panel of Human Cell Line-Based Highly Selective Steroid-Responsive Bioassays. Toxicological Sciences, 83(1), 136–148.

Szafran, A. T., Szwarc, M., Marcelli, M., & Mancini, M. A. (2008). Androgen Receptor Functional Analyses by High Throughput Imaging: Determination of Ligand, Cell Cycle, and Mutation-Specific Effects. PLoS ONE, 3(11), e3605.

Walters, K. A., Simanainen, U., & Handelsman, D. J. (2010). Molecular insights into androgen actions in male and female reproductive function from androgen receptor knockout models. In Human Reproduction Update (Vol. 16, Issue 5, pp. 543–558). Hum Reprod Update.

William H. Walker. (2021). Androgen Actions in the Testis and the Regulation of Spermatogenesis. In Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology: Vol. volume 1381 (pp. 175–203).