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Prostate. 1997 May 1;31(2):103-9.

Transforming growth factor-beta 3 is expressed in nondividing basal epithelial cells in normal human prostate and benign prostatic hyperplasia, and is no longer detectable in prostate carcinoma.

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Department of Clinical and Experimental Research, University of Berne, Switzerland.



We investigated the role of the transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) family in the neoplastic progression of the human prostate.


Expression of TGF-beta mRNA was measured by Northern blot analysis of tissue extracts, and TGF-beta protein by immunohistochemical analysis of tissue sections. Proliferating cells were detected by their expression of Ki-67 antigen.


The level of TGF-beta 1 mRNA was equal among normal prostate, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and prostate carcinoma. TGF-beta 2 mRNA was not detectable, and TGF-beta 3 mRNA was expressed 20-fold lesion in carcinoma compared to BPH and normal prostate. TGF-beta 1 protein was expressed in the stromal cells in all three tissues and TGF-beta 3 protein in the basal layer of epithelial cells, but not in carcinoma. Proliferating epithelial cells fail to express TGF-beta 3.


TGF-beta 1 and TGF-beta 3 are independently regulated, and carcinoma of the prostate is characterized by the loss of basal epithelial cells expressing TGF-beta 3.

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