Subcellular distribution of androgen receptors in human normal, benign hyperplastic, and malignant prostatic tissues: Characterization of nuclear salt-resistant receptors

Evelyn R. Barrack, Piroska Bujnovszky, Patrick C. Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Two populations of nuclear androgen receptors have been characterized in human prostatic tissue, and the levels and proportions of each were found to differ in normal prostates, benign hyperplastic prostates (BPH), and malignant prostates. A significant percentage (35 to 50%) of total nuclear androgen receptors was associated with the salt-resistant nuclear matrix fraction. The remainder were easily extracted from nuclei by 0.6 m KCI. Optimal conditions for measuring receptors in both compartments involved the use of an inhibitor of proteolysis (phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride) and the omission of dithiothreitol from buffers. In the presence of dithiothreitol, most of the nuclear salt-resistant receptors were rendered salt extractable. Cytosol androgen receptor levels were not significantly different in normal, BPH, or malignant prostatic tissues. In contrast, the levels and distribution of nuclear salt-extractable and salt-resistant androgen receptors exhibited characteristic patterns. Compared to normal prostatic tissue, nuclear salt-extractable receptors were significantly elevated in both BPH and cancer, whereas nuclear salt-resistant receptors were elevated in BPH but not in cancer. The ratio of salt-extractable to salt-resistant receptors was approximately 1:1 in both normal and BPH tissues and 2:1 in cancer. In addition, a microassay has been developed for the measurement of androgen receptors in the three subcellular compartments of needle biopsy specimens of prostatic cancer. Studies are in progress to determine whether the measurement of both nuclear salt-extractable and salt-resistant receptors may improve the usefulness of receptor levels to predict the hormonal responsiveness of prostatic cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1107-1116
Number of pages10
JournalCancer Research
Volume43
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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