Background: The androgen receptor is a ligand-induced transcriptional factor, which plays an important role in normal development of the prostate as well as in the progression of prostate cancer to a hormone refractory state. We previously reported the identification of a novel AR coactivator protein, L-dopa decarboxylase (DDC), which can act at the cytoplasmic level to enhance AR activity. We have also shown that DDC is a neuroendocrine (NE) marker of prostate cancer and that its expression is increased after hormone-ablation therapy and progression to androgen independence. In the present study, we generated tetracycline-inducible LNCaP-DDC prostate cancer stable cells to identify DDC downstream target genes by oligonucleotide microarray analysis.
Results: Comparison of induced DDC overexpressing cells versus non-induced control cell lines revealed a number of changes in the expression of androgen-regulated transcripts encoding proteins with a variety of molecular functions, including signal transduction, binding and catalytic activities. There were a total of 35 differentially expressed genes, 25 up-regulated and 10 down-regulated, in the DDC overexpressing cell line. In particular, we found a well-known androgen induced gene, TMEPAI, which wasup-regulated in DDC overexpressing cells, supporting its known co-activation function. In addition, DDC also further augmented the transcriptional repression function of AR for a subset of androgen-repressed genes. Changes in cellular gene transcription detected by microarray analysis were confirmed for selected genes by quantitative real-time RT-PCR.
Conclusion: Taken together, our results provide evidence for linking DDC action with AR signaling, which may be important for orchestrating molecular changes responsible for prostate cancer progression.