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Biomed Rep. 2013 Nov;1(6):855-860. Epub 2013 Sep 25.

Roles of autophagy-related genes Beclin-1 and LC3 in the development and progression of prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia.

Author information

1
Department of Urology, Lu'an Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, Lu'an, Anhui 237005, P.R. China.
2
Institute of Urology, Zhejiang Cancer Hospital, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310022, P.R. China.
3
Department of Urology, Union Hospital of Fujian Medical University, Fuzhou, Fujian 350001, P.R. China.

Abstract

Prostate cancer (PCa) is common in Western populations and the second leading cause of cancer-related mortality among males in North America, with an increasing morbidity in China and other Asian countries. The aim of this study was to evaluate the protein expression of autophagy-related genes Beclin-1 and LC3 in patients with prostate cancer (PCa) and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and elucidate their association with p53 and Bcl-2. The total protein of 34 PCa and 50 BPH samples was extracted and the expression of Beclin-1 and LC3 was analyzed by western blotting assay. Subsequently, a total of 96 paraffin-embedded BPH tissue samples was subdivided into 2 groups, one group in which patients had received 5α-reductase inhibitor, due to its effect of androgen ablation, and the control group, in which patients had not received the 5α-reductase inhibitor. The samples were randomly collected and examined using immunohistochemical (IHC) analysis. The western blot analysis demonstrated that Beclin-l and LC3 expression was higher in BPH tissues compared to PCa tissues (P<0.001). There was no statistically significant difference between PCas of different Gleason scores (P>0.05). The result of IHC revealed that Beclin-l and LC3 expression in the group of patients who had received the 5α-reductase inhibitor was significantly higher compared to that in the control group; however, the expression of Bcl-2 and p53 was lower (P<0.05). Beclin-1 expression exhibited a negative correlation with Bcl-2 (r=-0.402, P<0.001), whereas LC3 expression exhibited a positive correlation with Beclin-1 (r=0.345, P=0.001) and a negative correlation with Bcl-2 (r=-0.216, P=0.035). It was suggested that autophagy-related genes Beclin-l and LC3 may be involved in the development and progression of PCa. In addition, the expression of these genes was higher in patients with BPH who had received a 5α-reductase inhibitor, due to androgen reduction. As a result, the induced autophagy may reduce the risk of PCa.

KEYWORDS:

autophagy; autophagy-related genes; benign prostatic hyperplasia; prostate cancer

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