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Dystroglycan is frequently lost in adenocarcinoma, but the mechanisms and consequences are poorly understood. We report an analysis of β-dystroglycan in prostate cancer in human tissue samples and in LNCaP cells in vitro. There is progressive loss of β-dystroglycan immunoreactivity from basal and lateral surfaces of prostate epithelia which correlates significantly with increasing Gleason grade. In about half of matched bone metastases there is significant dystroglycan re-expression. In tumour tissue and in LNCaP cells there is also a tyrosine phosphorylation-dependent translocation of β-dystroglycan to the nucleus. Analysis of gene expression data by microarray, reveals that nuclear targeting of β-dystroglycan in LNCaP cells alters the transcription of relatively few genes, the most unregulated being the transcription factor ETV1. These data suggest that proteolysis, tyrosine phosphorylation and translocation of dystroglycan to the nucleus resulting in altered gene transcription could be important mechanisms in the progression of prostate cancer.

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Androgens, Cell Line, Tumor, Cell Nucleus, Dystroglycans, Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic, Humans, Immunohistochemistry, Male, Myristic Acid, Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis, Phosphorylation, Phosphotyrosine, Prostate, Prostatic Neoplasms, Protein Transport, Transcription Factors, Transcription, Genetic