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J Mol Endocrinol. 2008 Jul;41(1):13-23. doi: 10.1677/JME-07-0158. Epub 2008 May 9.

Expression of a hyperactive androgen receptor leads to androgen-independent growth of prostate cancer cells.

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1
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio 43606, USA.

Abstract

Cellular changes that affect the androgen receptor (AR) can cause prostate cancer to transition from androgen dependent to androgen independent, which is usually lethal. One common change in prostate tumors is overexpression of the AR, which has been shown to lead to androgen-independent growth of prostate cancer cells. This led us to hypothesize that expression of a hyperactive AR would be sufficient for androgen-independent growth of prostate cancer cells. To test this hypothesis, stable lune cancer prostate (LNCaP) cell lines were generated, which express a virion phosphoprotein (VP)16-AR hybrid protein that contains full-length AR fused to the strong viral transcriptional activation domain VP16. This fusion protein elicited as much as a 20-fold stronger transcriptional activity than the natural AR. Stable expression of VP16-AR in LNCaP cells yielded androgen-independent cell proliferation, while under the same growth conditions the parental LNCaP cells exhibited only androgen-dependent growth. These results show that expression of a hyperactive AR is sufficient for androgen-independent growth of prostate cancer cells. To study the molecular basis of this enhanced growth, we measured the expression of soluble guanylyl cyclase-alpha1 (sGCalpha1), a subunit of the sGC, an androgen-regulated gene that has been shown to be involved in prostate cancer cell growth. Interestingly, the expression of sGCalpha1 is androgen independent in VP16-AR-expressing cells, in contrast to its androgen-induced expression in control LNCaP cells. RNA(I)-dependent inhibition of sGCalpha1 expression resulted in significantly reduced proliferation of VP16-AR cells, implicating an important role for sGCalpha1 in the androgen-independent growth of these cells.

PMID:
18469090
DOI:
10.1677/JME-07-0158
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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