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Mol Cell Endocrinol. 1999 Sep 10;155(1-2):69-76.

Androgens down-regulate the expression of the human homologue of paternally expressed gene-3 in the prostatic adenocarcinoma cell line LNCaP.

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Laboratory for Experimental Medicine and Endocrinology, Faculty of Medicine, Onderwijs en Navorsing, Gasthuisberg, Belgium.


mRNA differential display polymerase chain reaction analysis was used to screen systematically for novel androgen-regulated genes in the human prostatic adenocarcinoma cell line LNCaP. A 232 bp PCR fragment was found to be consistently down-regulated by the synthetic androgen R1881. Sequencing revealed complete identity with the human homologue of mouse Paternally expressed gene 3 (Peg3), an imprinted gene that plays an important role as a downstream mediator of the effects of tumor necrosis factor (TNF). The down-regulation of Peg3 mRNA by androgens was confirmed by Northern blot hybridization. The effect proved time and dose dependent with maximal repression (3.5-fold) after 24 h of treatment with 10(-8) M R1881. The steroid specificity of Peg3 mRNA regulation reflected the aberrant ligand specificity of the mutated androgen receptor in LNCaP cells, supporting the involvement of the androgen receptor in the repression process. Basal expression of Peg3 mRNA was almost completely abolished by the protein synthesis inhibitor cycloheximide. Experiments with Actinomycin D suggested that androgens act at a transcriptional level rather than by changing the stability of Peg3 mRNA. Comparison of the expression of Peg3 mRNA in 50 different human tissues revealed ubiquitous expression, but low levels in the prostate. The highest levels were observed in endocrine tissues such as ovary, placenta, adrenal and pituitary. High levels were also noted in various parts of the brain. No detectable levels of Peg3 mRNA were observed in two other androgen receptor-positive prostate tumor cell lines (MDA PCa-2a and -2b), and in the poorly differentiated and androgen receptor-negative prostate tumor lines PC-3 and DU-145. It is concluded that both androgens and loss of differentiation may affect the expression of Peg3, a mediator of the effects of TNF. Further experiments will be required to explore whether these changes affect the responsiveness of prostate tumor cells to TNF.

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