Androgen-independent expression of hoxb-13 in the mouse prostate

Prostate. 1999 Nov 1;41(3):203-7. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1097-0045(19991101)41:3<203::aid-pros8>;2-j.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Androgens / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Epithelial Cells / physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Genes, Homeobox / genetics*
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics*
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Prostate / physiology*


  • Androgens
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Hoxb13 protein, mouse