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Prostate. 1993;22(1):11-22.

DNA sequence of the androgen receptor in prostatic tumor cell lines and tissue specimens assessed by means of the polymerase chain reaction.

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Department of Urology, University of Innsbruck, Austria.


Essentially all prostatic carcinomas relapse to an androgen-independent stage during androgen ablation therapy. The underlying genetic changes are still unclear. Such changes are suspected to affect the androgen-signalling pathway as well as growth promoting and inhibiting factors. This study was undertaken to test for structural changes of the androgen receptor in prostatic tumor cell lines and primary tumors. Complementary DNA (cDNA) fragments of the androgen receptor (AR) were isolated from the cell lines LNCaP, PC-3, and DU 145, ten tissue specimens obtained by radical prostatectomy, and five fine-needle biopsies by means of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique. Fragments encoding the hormone- and DNA-binding domains were analyzed by DNA sequencing. The PCR technique is highly sensitive and especially recommended for the analysis of small tissue samples, such as those obtained by fine-needle aspiration. No alterations were detected in the tissue specimens and the five fine-needle aspirates. In the three tumor cell lines that represent late stages of prostatic tumor, different findings were obtained. The androgen-independent DU 145 cells did not express androgen receptors, whereas the PC-3 cells, which are also androgen-independent, expressed very low levels of normal AR. In contrast to this, the androgen-dependent LNCaP cells expressed high levels of structurally abnormal androgen receptors. These results suggest that androgen receptor mutations are probably uncommon molecular events in the early stages of prostatic cancer. Qualitative and quantitative changes, however, seem to occur in advanced prostatic cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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