Background: Hox genes encode transcriptional regulatory proteins that are largely responsible for establishing the body plan of all metazoan organisms. A subset of Hox genes is expressed during the period of organogenesis and into adulthood. hoxb-13 is a recently-described member of the Hox gene family that is expressed in the spinal cord, hindgut, and urogenital sinus during embryogenesis.
Methods: Northern blot and in situ hybridization analyses of hoxb-13 expression in adult mouse tissues were performed.
Results: hoxb-13 mRNA is restricted to the prostate gland and distal colon in adult animals. In situ hybridization of mouse prostate tissue demonstrated that hoxb-13 is expressed in the epithelial cells of the ventral, dorsal, lateral, and anterior prostate lobes. Accumulation of hoxb-13 mRNA is not diminished following castration.
Conclusions: These data demonstrate that hoxb-13 expression is androgen-independent in mouse prostate glands. The identification of hoxb-13 as an androgen-independent gene expressed in adult mouse prostate epithelial cells provides a new potential target for developing therapeutics to treat advanced prostate cancer.
Copyright 1999 Wiley-Liss, Inc.