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Mol Cancer Res. 2007 Apr;5(4):383-91.

Androgen-dependent gene expression of prostate-specific antigen is enhanced synergistically by hypoxia in human prostate cancer cells.

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  • 1Department of Public Health, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kitasato University, Japan.


The androgen receptor (AR) is implicated in prostate cancer growth, progression, and angiogenesis. Hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1), which transcriptionally regulates hypoxia-inducible angiogenic factors, is up-regulated in prostate cancers compared with adjacent normal tissues. HIF-1 may be involved in prostate cancer as well as the AR, but the involvement of HIF-1 in prostate cancer angiogenesis and progression has not been fully elucidated. In the present study, we found that in prostate cancer LNCaP cells dihydrotestosterone enhanced the expression of GLUT-1, one of the HIF-1 target genes, and also that hypoxia enhanced the expression of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) that is one of the AR target genes and is involved in tumor invasion. Small interfering RNA that specifically inhibits HIF-1 reduced the expression levels of PSA as well as GLUT-1. Reporter gene analysis showed that dihydrotestosterone activated the HIF-1-mediated gene expression and hypoxia enhanced the AR-induced promoter activity of human PSA gene. Deletion and site-directed mutation of the 5'-flanking region of human PSA gene revealed that the sequence ACGTG between -3951 and -3947 was essential in the response to hypoxia. Furthermore, chromatin immunoprecipitation assay indicated that HIF-1 interacts with the AR on the human PSA gene promoter. These results indicated that in prostate cancers, HIF-1 might cooperate with the AR to activate the expression of several genes related to tumor angiogenesis, invasion, and progression.

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