Epidermal growth factor receptor mRNA levels in human prostatic tumors and cell lines

J Urol. 1990 Jun;143(6):1272-4. doi: 10.1016/s0022-5347(17)40253-9.


The mitogenic activity of epidermal growth factor (EGF) is mediated by a cell surface receptor (EGF-R) which has been identified in human prostate tissues. Because of conflicting reports on the relative levels of EGF-R in prostate tumors as measured by binding of radiolabelled EGF, we have examined EGF-R expression at the level of the specific messenger RNA using a sensitive RNase protection assay. Expression of the mRNA for EGF-R was higher in carcinoma (CaP, N = 38) than in benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH, N = 35) samples (p less than 0.01). The highest levels of EGF-R mRNA were found in the human prostatic carcinoma cell lines, PC-3 and DU145. Among the CaP samples, there was an association of higher EGF-R mRNA levels with higher tumor extent and dedifferentiation. Since EGF has also been found in prostatic tissues, the enhanced expression of the EGF-R gene may play a role in the growth of prostate tumors, possibly by an autocrine pathway.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma / genetics*
  • Cell Line
  • ErbB Receptors / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Male
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / genetics
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • RNA Probes
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics*
  • Ribonucleases
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • RNA Probes
  • RNA, Messenger
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Ribonucleases