Amphiregulin is a heparin-binding epidermal growth factor (EGF)-related peptide that binds to the EGF receptor (EGF-R) with high affinity. In this study, we report a role for amphiregulin in androgen-stimulated regulation of prostate cancer cell growth. Androgen is known to enhance EGF-R expression in the androgen-sensitive LNCaP human prostate carcinoma cell line, and it has been suggested that androgenic stimuli may regulate proliferation, in part, through autocrine mechanisms involving the EGF-R. In this study, we demonstrate that LNCaP cells express amphiregulin mRNA and peptide and that this expression is elevated by androgenic stimulation. We also show that ligand-dependent EGF-R stimulation induces amphiregulin expression and that androgenic effects on amphiregulin synthesis are mediated through this EGF-R pathway. Parallel studies using the estrogen-responsive breast carcinoma cell line, MCF-7, suggest that regulation of amphiregulin by estrogen may also be mediated via an EGF-R pathway. In addition, heparin treatment of LNCaP cells inhibits androgen-stimulated cell growth further suggesting that amphiregulin can mediate androgen-stimulated LNCaP proliferation. Together, these results implicate an androgen-regulated autocrine loop composed of amphiregulin and its receptor in prostate cancer cell growth and suggest that the mechanism of steroid hormone regulation of amphiregulin synthesis may occur through androgen upregulation of the EGF-R and subsequent receptor-dependent pathways.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Molecular Biology of the Cell|
|State||Published - Mar 1994|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology