Naturally occurring germ line mutations in the X-linked human androgen receptor (AR) gene cause incomplete masculinization of the external genitalia by disrupting AR function in males with androgen insensitivity syndrome. Almost all AR missense mutations that cause androgen insensitivity syndrome are located in the highly structured DNA and ligand binding domains. In this report we investigate the functional defect associated with an AR exon 1 missense mutation, R405S, that caused partial androgen insensitivity. The 46,XX heterozygous maternal carrier had a wild-type Arg-405 CGC allele but transmitted an AGC mutant allele coding for Ser-405. At birth, the 46,XY proband had a bifid scrotum, hypospadias, and micropenis consistent with clinical stage 3 partial androgen insensitivity. Androgen-dependent transcriptional activity of AR-R405S expressed in CV1 cells was less than wild-type AR and refractory in androgen-dependent AR NH(2)- and carboxyl interaction transcription assays that depend on the coregulator effects of melanoma antigen-A11. This mutation created a Ser-405 phosphorylation site evident by the gel migration of an AR-R405S NH(2)-terminal fragment as a double band that converted to the wild-type single band after treatment with λ-phosphatase. Detrimental effects of the R405S mutation were related to the proximity of the AR WXXLF motif (433)WHTLF(437) required for melanoma antigen-A11 and p300 to stimulate transcriptional activity associated with the AR NH(2)- and carboxyl-terminal interaction. We conclude that the coregulator effects of melanoma antigen-A11 on the AR NH(2)- and carboxyl-terminal interaction amplify the androgen-dependent transcriptional response to p300 required for normal human male sex development in utero.