A Novel Mr 32,000 Nuclear Phosphoprotein is Selectively Expressed in Cells Competent for Self-Renewal

Loren D. Walensky, Donald S. Coffey, Tseng Hui Chen, Tzyy Choou Wu, Gary R. Pasternack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigated the association between expression of a novel Mr 32,000 nuclear phosphoprotein (pp32) and cell proliferation in vivo using the well-characterized physiological model of androgen-dependent regeneration of prostate in orchiectomized rats. pp32 is expressed at high levels in neoplastic cell lines and in certain anatomically defined stem cell compartments of normal human tissues such as intestinal crypt epithelial cells. Immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization were used to monitor pp32 expression in rat ventral prostatic epithelium following castration and androgen restoration. Castrated rats retained only 6% of prostate wet weight compared to intact controls but were capable of complete gland restoration upon androgen replacement In intact controls, pp32 expression localized to small acini at the periphery of the gland and to rare basal cells in the central regions. Ten days following castration, there was a 3.5-fold enrichment in the frequency of pp32-positive cells with greater than 56% of remaining epithelial cells expressing pp32 protein. In situ hybridization showed that all remaining epithelial cells contained pp32 mRNA. Upon testosterone replacement, pp32 expression and localization returned to that of intact controls. In order to determine the association between pp32 expression and cell division, DNA synthesis was monitored by bromodeoxyuridine incorporation during prostate involution and regeneration. Bromodeoxyuridine incorporation peaked 3 days after androgen replacement and occurred diffusely throughout the gland. Thus, pp32-positive cells are anatomically distinguishable from the population of terminally differentiating cells undergoing rapid expansion. Preliminary. immunohistochemical studies of human prostatic neoplasia demonstrated increased expression of pp32 in human prostatic adenocarcinoma and prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia compared to benign prostatic hypertrophy and normal human prostate. The highest degree of expression occurred in the higher Gleason grades and prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia. This work suggests that pp32 is a nuclear protein which has a selective but presently undefined role in cells competent for self-renewal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4720-4726
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Research
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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