Background: Gene regulated in breast cancer 1 (GREB1) is a novel estrogen-regulated gene shown to play a pivotal role in hormone-stimulated breast cancer growth. GREB1 is expressed in the prostate and its putative promoter contains potential androgen receptor (AR) response elements.
Methods: We investigated the effects of androgens on GREB1 expression and its role in androgen-dependent prostate cancer growth.
Results: Real-time PCR demonstrated high level GREB1 expression in benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH), localized prostate cancer (L-PCa), and hormone refractory prostate cancer (HR-PCa). Androgen treatment of AR-positive prostate cancer cells induced dose-dependent GREB1 expression, which was blocked by anti-androgens. AR binding to the GREB1 promoter was confirmed by chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays. Suppression of GREB1 by RNA interference blocked androgen-stimulated LNCaP cell proliferation.
Conclusions: GREB1 is expressed in proliferating prostatic tissue and prostate cancer, is regulated by androgens, and suppression of GREB1 blocks androgen-induced growth suggesting GREB1 may be critically involved in prostate cancer proliferation.