BACKGROUND. Alterations in fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) production and/or FGF receptors expression have been described to play key roles in prostate tumor progression, particularly in androgen-independent tumors. However, the role of androgen receptor (AR) in altering FGF-mediated growth and survival of prostatic neoplastic cells has not been completely defined. In this study, we investigated the alterations in FGF2 production and utilization by the PC3 cell line, after transfection with a full-length AR. METHODS. FGF1,2,7, FGF-binding protein (FGF-BP) production and FGF receptor (FGFR) 1-4 expression were investigated by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and Western blot analysis. RESULTS. De novo AR expression by PC3 cells restores FGFR2 IIIb isoform expression and sensitivity to FGF7 and FGF2. Androgen stimulation induces AR+ PC3 clones to secrete FGF-BP, likely responsible for activation and mobilization from the extracellular matrix of the high amounts of FGF2 produced by the same cells. In addition to the effects on cell proliferation, FGF2 maintains the survival of AR+ PC3 clones through a positive modulation of the Bcl-2 protein and down-modulates AR protein expression, allowing the escape of selected clones from androgen regulation. CONCLUSION. In the presence of an active AR, the combined production of FGF2 and FGF-BP may play an important role in the progression of prostate cancer through the selection of AR+ clones expressing high levels of Bcl-2.
- Prostate carcinoma
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