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PLoS One. 2013 Nov 7;8(11):e77407. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0077407. eCollection 2013.

Characterization of prostate cancer bone metastases according to expression levels of steroidogenic enzymes and androgen receptor splice variants.

Author information

1
Department of Medical Biosciences, Pathology, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Intra-tumoral steroidogenesis and constitutive androgen receptor (AR) activity have been associated with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). This study aimed to examine if CRPC bone metastases expressed higher levels of steroid-converting enzymes than untreated bone metastases. Steroidogenic enzyme levels were also analyzed in relation to expression of constitutively active AR variants (AR-Vs) and to clinical and pathological variables.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

Untreated, hormone-naïve (HN, n = 9) and CRPC bone metastases samples (n = 45) were obtained from 54 patients at metastasis surgery. Non-malignant and malignant prostate samples were acquired from 13 prostatectomy specimens. Transcript and protein levels were analyzed by real-time RT-PCR, immunohistochemistry and immunoblotting. No differences in steroidogenic enzyme levels were detected between CRPC and HN bone metastases. Significantly higher levels of SRD5A1, AKR1C2, AKR1C3, and HSD17B10 mRNA were however found in bone metastases than in non-malignant and/or malignant prostate tissue, while the CYP11A1, CYP17A1, HSD3B2, SRD5A2, and HSD17B6 mRNA levels in metastases were significantly lower. A sub-group of metastases expressed very high levels of AKR1C3, which was not due to gene amplification as examined by copy number variation assay. No association was found between AKR1C3 expression and nuclear AR staining, tumor cell proliferation or patient outcome after metastases surgery. With only one exception, high AR-V protein levels were found in bone metastases with low AKR1C3 levels, while metastases with high AKR1C3 levels primarily contained low AR-V levels, indicating distinct mechanisms behind castration-resistance in individual bone metastases.

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:

Induced capacity of converting adrenal-gland derived steroids into more potent androgens was indicated in a sub-group of PC bone metastases. This was not associated with CRPC but merely with the advanced stage of metastasis. Sub-groups of bone metastases could be identified according to their expression levels of AKR1C3 and AR-Vs, which might be of relevance for patient response to 2(nd) line androgen-deprivation therapy.

PMID:
24244276
PMCID:
PMC3820691
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0077407
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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