Sequence variation in the androgen receptor gene is not a common determinant of male sexual orientation

J. P. Macke, N. Hu, S. Hu, M. Bailey, V. L. King, T. Brown, D. Hamer, J. Nathans*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


To test the hypothesis that DNA sequence variation in the androgen receptor gene plays a causal role in the development of male sexual orientation, we have (1) measured the degree of concordance of androgen receptor alleles in 36 pairs of homosexual brothers, (2) compared the lengths of polyglutamine and polyglycine tracts in the amino-terminal domain of the androgen receptor in a sample of 197 homosexual males and 213 unselected subjects, and (3) screened the entire androgen receptor coding region for sequence variation by PCR and denaturing gradient-gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and/or single-strand conformation polymorphism analysis in 20 homosexual males with homosexual or bisexual brothers and one homosexual male with no homosexual brothers, and screened the amino-terminal domain of the receptor for sequence variation in an additional 44 homosexual males, 37 of whom had one or more first- or second-degree male relatives who were either homosexual or bisexual. These analyses show that (1) homosexual brothers are as likely to be discordant as concordant for androgen receptor alleles; (2) there are no large-scale differences between the distributions of polyglycine or polyglutamine tract lengths in the homosexual and control groups; and (3) coding region sequence variation is not commonly found within the androgen receptor gene of homosexual men. The DGGE screen identified two rare amino acid substitutions, ser205-to-arg and glu793-to-asp, the biological significance of which is unknown.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)844-852
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican journal of human genetics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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