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Cancer Res. 2001 May 1;61(9):3550-5.

Amplification and overexpression of androgen receptor gene in hormone-refractory prostate cancer.

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  • 1Laboratory of Cancer Genetics, Institute of Medical Technology, University of Tampere and Tampere University Hospital, FIN-33014 Tampere, Finland.


The expression level of the androgen receptor (AR) gene in androgen-dependent and -independent prostate cancer was determined by using real-time quantitative reverse transcription-PCR assay. Eight benign prostate hyperplasias, 33 untreated and 13 hormone-refractory locally recurrent carcinomas, as well as 10 prostate cancer xenografts, were analyzed. All hormone-refractory tumors expressed AR and showed, on average, 6-fold higher expression than androgen-dependent tumors or benign prostate hyperplasias (P < 0.001). Four of 13 (31%) hormone-refractory tumors contained AR gene amplification detected by fluorescence in situ hybridization. Androgen-independent tumors with gene amplification expressed, on average, a 2-fold higher level of AR than the refractory tumors without the gene amplification. Two xenografts (LuCaP 35 and 69) showed amplification and high-level expression of the AR gene. These xenografts are the first prostate cancer model systems containing the gene amplification. The findings demonstrate that AR is highly expressed in androgen-independent prostate cancer, suggesting that the AR signaling pathway is important in the progression of prostate cancer during endocrine treatment. The two xenografts with the AR gene amplification will enable studies evaluating the functional significance of the amplification and development of new treatment strategies based on high-level expression of AR.

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