Co-expression of GH and GHR isoforms in prostate cancer cell lines

Growth Horm IGF Res. 2002 Apr;12(2):126-36. doi: 10.1054/ghir.2002.0271.


Prostate cancer is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in Western males. While it is known that androgens play a central role in prostate cancer development and progression, other hormones and growth factors are also involved in prostate growth. Insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) plasma levels have been associated with prostate cancer risk, and growth hormone (GH), a major factor regulating IGF levels, also appears to have a role in prostate cancer cell growth. Most significantly, GH has been shown to increase the rate of cell proliferation in prostate cancer cell lines. We have now demonstrated the co-expression of GH and GH receptor (GHR) mRNA isoforms in the ALVA41, PC3, DU145, LNCaP prostate cancer cells by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Sequence analysis has confirmed that these cell lines express the pituitary form of GH mRNA and also the placental mRNA isoform. These prostate cancer cell lines also express the full-length mRNA for the GHR and the exon 3 deleted isoform. We have also demonstrated the presence of GH and GHR proteins in these cell lines by immunohistochemistry. GH expression has not been described previously in human prostate cancer cells. The co-expression of GH and its receptor would enable an autocrine-paracrine pathway to exist in the prostate that would be capable of stimulating prostate growth, either directly via the GHR or indirectly via IGF production. The GH axis in the prostate could therefore be an important additional target for the future development of prostate cancer therapies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blotting, Northern
  • Blotting, Southern
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Culture Media, Conditioned / pharmacology
  • DNA Primers / pharmacology
  • DNA, Complementary / metabolism
  • Exons
  • Growth Hormone / biosynthesis*
  • Growth Hormone / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Receptors, Somatotropin / biosynthesis*
  • Receptors, Somatotropin / chemistry*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Culture Media, Conditioned
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Complementary
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Somatotropin
  • Growth Hormone