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Mol Endocrinol. 1988 Jul;2(7):650-7.

Cascade induction of c-fos, c-myc, and heat shock 70K transcripts during regression of the rat ventral prostate gland.

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Department of Urology, Columbia University, New York, New York 10032.


Castration of an adult male rat results in the rapid regression of the ventral prostate gland. Most of the acinar epithelial cells lining the ducts of the gland will die during the first 5 days after androgen withdrawal. The molecular events which accompany the death of these cells were studied by examining RNA isolated from ventral prostate glands of normal and from a sequential 24-h series of castrate rats. These RNAs were analyzed by Northern blot methods to quantify the expression of growth-related (c-fos, c-myc, and heat shock 70K) and cell maintenance (alpha-tubulin) genes during prostatic regression. Each of these genes showed a bimodal pattern of expression. Within the first few days after castration, transcript levels decline; whereas later, during the most active period of cell death, their expression was transiently induced. Levels of mature c-myc, and alpha-tubulin transcripts increased approximately 6- to 8-fold on the third day after castration, while transcripts encoding hsp 70-related genes increased greater than 6-fold on the fourth day after castration. Further analysis of RNA extracted from regressing ventral prostate glands at sequential 12-h intervals after castration showed that the c-fos gene was induced at 36 h, earlier than c-myc, alpha-tubulin, and hsp 70.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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