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We have investigated the possibility of the secretion of gonadotrophin-releasing-hormone (GnRH)-like peptides by prostatic cancer cells in culture and their presence in cytosolic preparations from human prostatic biopsy specimens. A GnRH-specific radioimmunoassay showed GnRH-like activity in concentrated cytosolic preparations and conditioned media from DU 145, an androgen-insensitive human prostatic cell line and from LNCaP, an androgen-responsive prostatic cancer cell line. GnRH immunoreactivity in culture media correlated directly with cell numbers. HPLC demonstrated that this GnRH-like material co-migrated with synthetic GnRH. This homology between synthetic GnRH and partially purified prostatic GnRH was confirmed following V8 protease and trypsin digestion which resulted in similar alterations in HPLC characteristics. The mean content of GnRH-like activity/g specimen tissue was significantly more in malignant tissue (88.5 +/- 80.5 fmol) than in benign (29.6 +/- 22 fmol), though more specimens of benign tissue were positive (37/54) than malignant tissue (6/22). This observation, taken with an earlier finding of GnRH-specific receptors in a hormone-sensitive cell line and human cancer specimens provides supportive evidence for the autocrine hypothesis of cell regulation.


Journal article


J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol

Publication Date





899 - 902


Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone, Humans, Male, Prostatic Neoplasms, Radioimmunoassay, Serine Endopeptidases, Trypsin, Tumor Cells, Cultured