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Cancer Research
Year: 2009  |  Volume: 69  |  Issue: 12  |  Page No.: 5202 - 5209

Androgen Receptor Expression in Prostate Cancer Cells Is Suppressed by Activation of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor and ErbB2

C Cai, D. C Portnoy, H Wang, X Jiang, S Chen and S. P. Balk    

Abstract:

Prostate cancers (PCa) that relapse after androgen deprivation therapies [castration-resistant PCa (CRPC)] express high levels of androgen receptor (AR) and androgen-regulated genes, and evidence from several groups indicates that ErbB family receptor tyrosine kinases [epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor (EGFR) and ErbB2] may contribute to enhancing this AR activity. We found that activation of these kinases with EGF and heregulin-β1 rapidly (within 8 hours) decreased expression of endogenous AR and androgen-regulated PSA in LNCaP PCa cells. AR expression was similarly decreased in LAPC4 and C4-2 cells, but not in the CWR22Rv1 PCa cell line. The rapid decrease in AR was not due to increased AR protein degradation and was not blocked by phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (LY294002) or MEK (UO126) inhibitors. Significantly, AR mRNA levels in LNCaP cells were markedly decreased by EGF and heregulin-β1, and experiments with actinomycin D to block new mRNA synthesis showed that AR mRNA degradation was increased. AR mRNA levels were still markedly decreased by EGF and heregulin-β1 in LNCaP cells adapted to growth in androgen-depleted medium, although AR protein levels did not decline due to increased AR protein stability. These findings show that EGFR and ErbB2 can negatively regulate AR mRNA and may provide an approach to suppress AR expression in CRPC. [Cancer Res 2009;69(12):5202–9]

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