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Cancer Res. 2009 Sep 15;69(18):7402-11. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-08-4687. Epub 2009 Aug 25.

The neuroendocrine-derived peptide parathyroid hormone-related protein promotes prostate cancer cell growth by stabilizing the androgen receptor.

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Department of Microbiology and Cancer Center, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, Virginia 22908-0734, USA.

Erratum in

  • Cancer Res. 2009 Oct 1;69(19):7894.


During progression to an androgen-independent state following androgen ablation therapy, prostate cancer cells continue to express the androgen receptor (AR) and androgen-regulated genes, indicating that AR is critical for the proliferation of hormone-refractory prostate cancer cells. Multiple mechanisms have been proposed for the development of AR-dependent hormone-refractory disease, including changes in expression of AR coregulatory proteins, AR mutation, growth factor-mediated activation of AR, and AR protein up-regulation. The most prominent of these progressive changes is the up-regulation of AR that occurs in >90% of prostate cancers. A common feature of the most aggressive hormone-refractory prostate cancers is the accumulation of cells with neuroendocrine characteristics that produce paracrine factors and may provide a novel mechanism for the regulation of AR during advanced stages of the disease. In this study, we show that neuroendocrine-derived parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP)-mediated signaling through the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and Src pathways contributes to the phenotype of advanced prostate cancer by reducing AR protein turnover. PTHrP-induced accumulation of AR depended on the activity of Src and EGFR and consequent phosphorylation of the AR on Tyr(534). PTHrP-induced tyrosine phosphorylation of AR resulted in reduced AR ubiquitination and interaction with the ubiquitin ligase COOH terminus of Hsp70-interacting protein. These events result in increased accumulation of AR and thus enhanced growth of prostate cancer cells at low levels of androgen.

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