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Fibroblast growth factor 8 (FGF8) has been shown to play a key role in prostate carcinogenesis. It was initially cloned as an androgen induced protein in mouse mammary cancer SC3 cells. In this study, we examined if FGF8 was also regulated by the androgen receptor in human prostate cancer. FGF8b protein expression in resected clinical prostate cancer correlated closely with expression of the androgen receptor (AR). In the androgen sensitive CWR22 prostate xenograft, we observed up-regulation of FGF8b immunoreactivity in testosterone supplemented mice while castration markedly reduced its signal. Furthermore, FGF8b protein expression in AR positive LNCaP cells was similarly enhanced by androgens. The proximal promoter of the human FGF8 gene was cloned into a luciferase reporter construct (FGF8.luc). FGF8.luc activity in AR positive LNCaP and SC3 cells was increased 2.5-fold by androgens. In AR negative DU145 cells, maximal induction of FGF8.luc required both co-transfection of the AR and the presence of androgens. The anti-androgen bicalutamide completely abolished AR mediated FGF8.luc induction. Deletion constructs from FGF8.luc have further defined an active promoter region and an androgen responsive region. Nucleotide analysis of this androgen responsive region has revealed putative androgen response elements. Finally, using ChIP assays we confirmed in vivo interaction between the AR and the androgen responsive region of the FGF8 promoter. Taken together these data provide first evidence that expression of the mitogen FGF8 in prostate cancer is, at least in part, regulated by the androgen receptor at the transcriptional level.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





5069 - 5080


Androgen Antagonists, Androgen Receptor Antagonists, Androgens, Anilides, Animals, Base Sequence, Binding Sites, Chromatin, Fibroblast Growth Factor 8, Fibroblast Growth Factors, Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic, Humans, Male, Mice, Mice, Nude, Molecular Sequence Data, Nitriles, Promoter Regions, Genetic, Prostatic Neoplasms, Receptors, Androgen, Response Elements, Tosyl Compounds, Transcriptional Activation, Tumor Cells, Cultured