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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Crosstalk between signaling pathways in hormonal progression of prostate cancer Wang, Gang


As the most frequently diagnosed cancer in North American men, prostate cancer can progress to the androgen independent stage after initial response to androgen ablation therapy. The molecular mechanisms involved in the hormonal progression of prostate cancer are not completely understood. Here, we analyze changes in the transcriptome of prostate cancer cells at different stages of progression to reveal potential mechanisms. Applying Affymetrix GeneChip technology, we identified the transcriptomes in response to stimulation of androgen and PKA pathways in human prostate cancer cells. In addition to PSA, other common target genes were identified. Genes differentially expressed in response to androgen and stimulation of the PKA pathway in vitro were also differentially expressed during hormonal progression in vivo. Upon androgen stimulation, androgen receptor binds to a functional androgen response element within the promoter region of SESN1, a p53 targeted gene, and represses its expression. The expression of SESN1 was induced by castration in LNCaP xenografts, but the expression was eventually suppressed again in the androgen independent stage of prostate cancer. Knockdown of SESN1 promoted the proliferation of prostate cancer cells. Expression patterns of androgen-regulated genes in androgen independent tumours were revealed to be more similar to that from before castration than to the tumors under androgen ablation. The β-catenin, a potent coactivator of the androgen receptor, and Wnt pathway was deregulated in androgen-independent tumours. There was increased nuclear colocalization and interaction of androgen receptor and β-catenin with hormonal progression of prostate cancer. This study provides insight into hormonal effects on prostate cancer and possible pathways involved in the development of androgen independent disease, as well as potential therapeutic targets.

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