A research team at Bonn University, headed by Professor Markus Nothen, has linked the Androgen receptor (AR) gene in predisposing balding in men. The gene is located on chromosome X, and plays a major role in androgenetic alopecia (AGA), which is the most common form of hair loss.
According to Professor Nothen, "A certain variant of this gene was found among men who suffered from premature balding at a very early stage, more often than among men who still had a full head of hair when over 60."
It is believed that one of the two variants results in more androgen receptors on the scalp causing it to be more sensitive to the effect of hormones. This would therefore lead to hair loss. An interesting point to note is that one of the variants is shorter than the other at the 5' end. The shorter transcript is due to an alternative splicing event which results in a protein isoform with a distinct and shorter N-terminus. Using SynaMine™ to identify key functional motifs, it can be seen that the longer variant (variant 1) is coded on the third forward reading frame while the shorter variant (variant 2) is coded on the first forward reading frame.
To analyse the isoforms of this gene, please follow the instructions below:
|Source: WebMD Medical News.
|Journal article reference: Hillmer, A., Hanneken, S., Ritzmann, S., et. Al. (2005) Genetic Variation in the Human Androgen Receptor Gene is the Major Determinant of Common Early-Onset Androgenetic Alopecia. Am. J. Hum. Gen. 77: 140-148.|