Presence of androgen receptor variant in neuronal lipid rafts

Jo Garza-Contreras, Phong Duong, Brina D. Snyder, Derek A. Schreihofer, Rebecca L. Cunningham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Fast, nongenomic androgen actions have been described in various cell types, including neurons. However, the receptor mediating this cell membrane–initiated rapid signaling remains unknown. This study found a putative androgen receptor splice variant in a dopaminergic N27 cell line and in several brain regions (substantia nigra pars compacta, entorhinal cortex, and hippocampus) from gonadally intact and gonadectomized (young and middle-aged) male rats. This putative splice variant protein has a molecular weight of 45 kDa and lacks an N-terminal domain, indicating it is homologous to the human AR45 splice variant. Interestingly, AR45 was highly expressed in all brain regions examined. In dopaminergic neurons, AR45 is localized to plasma membrane lipid rafts, a microdomain involved in cellular signaling. Further, AR45 protein interacts with membrane-associated G proteins Gαq and Gαo. Neither age nor hormone levels altered AR45 expression in dopaminergic neurons. These results provide the first evidence of AR45 protein expression in the brain, specifically plasma membrane lipid rafts. AR45 presence in lipid rafts indicates that it may function as a membrane androgen receptor to mediate fast, nongenomic androgen actions.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0109-17.2017
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2017


  • Androgen receptor
  • Caveolin
  • G proteins
  • Lipid rafts
  • Membrane
  • Signaling


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