1 Introduction</h5> Androgens are steroid hormones which regulate a broad range of physiological processes such as sexual differentiation and reproduction. They interact with the androgen receptor, AR, which is a member of group 3 of the nuclear receptors superfamily (abbreviation in the nomenclature system: NR3C4). After ligand binding, the receptors form dimers and bind to hormone-responsive elements (HRE) in the transcriptional control regions of target genes ( Germain et al., 2006 ). The nature of the ligand and the conformational flexibility of the AF-2 helix of the receptor determine the magnitude of the response. Recruitment of co-activators or co-repressors, which determine activation or repression of transcription, depends on the presence of the bound ligands, which may be either agonistic or antagonistic ( Bourguet et al., 2000; Jin and Li, 2010 ).</P>Naturally occurring androgens such as 5 α -dihydrotestosterone (DHT) are produced by humans and animals and are excreted in urine mainly as glucuronide and sulfate conjugates into the environment ( Dehennin and Matsumoto, 1993 ). They are then converted back to their free form via biotransformation. The urinary excretion rates per day are very different and depend mainly on organism, gender, and conditions. Male humans, for example, excrete
Science of the Total Environment – Elsevier
Published: Aug 15, 2014
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