Androgen receptor and prostate cancer invasion

Int J Androl. 2003 Feb;26(1):21-5. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2605.2003.00375.x.


Evidence indicates that androgen-sensitive prostate cancer cells have a lower malignant potential. We previously demonstrated that expression of androgen receptor (AR) by transfection of the androgen-independent prostate cancer cell line PC3 decreases invasion and adhesion of these cells through modulation of alpha6beta4 expression. Treatment with the androgen further reduced adhesion and invasion of the cells without, however, modifying alpha6beta4. Here we investigated whether the androgen has a direct effect on alpha6beta4-EGF receptor (EGFR) interaction and signalling leading to invasion of these cells. Immunoconfocal microscopy demonstrated that in control cells (PC3-Neo), alpha6beta4 and EGFR colocalize and redistribute in response to epidermal growth factor (EGF). In PC3-AR cells colocalization and redistribution between the two molecules was reduced and abolished by pre-treatment with R1881. Co-immunoprecipitation studies demonstrated that tyrosine phosphorylation of beta4 in response to EGF was reduced in PC3-AR cells compared to PC3-Neo. Immunoconfocal and co-immunoprecipitation studies demonstrated colocalization at membrane level and co-immunoprecipitation of EGFR and AR, indicating an interaction between the two proteins. PI3K activity, a key signalling pathway for invasion of these cells, was decreased in PC3-AR cells in response to EGF and further reduced by treatment with R1881. EGFR internalization was strongly reduced in PC3-AR compared with PC3-Neo cells and was reduced by treatment with R1881. In conclusion, the expression of AR by transfection in PC3 cells confers a less malignant phenotype by interfering with EGFR--alpha6beta4 interaction and signalling leading to invasion through a mechanism involving an interaction between the classic AR and EGFR.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / physiopathology*
  • Receptors, Androgen / physiology*


  • Receptors, Androgen