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The role of androgen in determining differentiation and regulation of androgen receptor expression in the human prostatic epithelium transient amplifying population

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Rakesh Heer, Professor Craig Robson, Dr Brian Shenton, Professor Hing Leung


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Abnormal differentiation in epithelial stem cells or their immediate proliferative progeny, the transiently amplifying population (TAP), may explain malignant pathogenesis in the human prostate. These models are of particular importance as differing sensitivities to androgen among epithelial cell subpopulations during differentiation are recognised and may account for progression to androgen independent prostate cancer. Androgens are crucial in driving terminal differentiation and their indirect effects via growth factors from adjacent androgen responsive stroma are becoming better characterised. However, direct effects of androgen on immature cells in the context of a prostate stem cell model have not been investigated in detail and are studied in this work. In α2β1 hi stem cell enriched basal cells, androgen analogue R1881 directly promoted differentiation by the induction of differentiation-specific markers CK18, androgen receptor (AR), PSA and PAP. Furthermore, treatment with androgen down-regulated α2β1 integrin expression, which is implicated in the maintenance of the immature basal cell phenotype. The α2β1 hi cells were previously demonstrated to lack AR expression and the direct effects of androgen were confirmed by inhibition using the anti-androgen bicalutamide. AR protein expression in α2β1 hi cells became detectable when its degradation was repressed by the proteosomal inhibitor MG132. Stratifying the α2β1 hi cells into stem (CD133 +) and transient amplifying population (TAP) (CD133-) subpopulations, AR mRNA expression was found to be restricted to the CD133 - (TAP) cells. The presence of a functional AR in the TAP, an androgen independent subpopulation for survival, may have particular clinical significance in hormone resistant prostate cancer, where both the selection of immature cells and functioning AR regulated pathways are involved. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Heer, R., Robson, C. N., Shenton, B. K., Leung, H. Y.

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Cellular Physiology

Year: 2007

Volume: 212

Issue: 3

Pages: 572-578

Print publication date: 01/09/2007

ISSN (print): 0021-9541

ISSN (electronic): 1097-4652


DOI: 10.1002/jcp.21154

PubMed id: 17541959


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Funder referenceFunder name
G0500966Medical Research Council