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      Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone Functionally Antagonizes Testosterone Activation of the Human Androgen Receptor in Prostate Cells through Focal Adhesion Complexes Involving Hic-5

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          Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) analogs constitute the most widely employed medical treatment for prostatic cancer. The predominant mechanism of action is presumed to be via the inhibition of gonadotropins and resultant decrease in androgen. However, GnRH analogs have also been shown to directly inhibit prostate cancer cells both in vitro and in vivo through antiproliferative cell cycle arrest and stimulation of apoptosis. Since the GnRH receptor has been shown to affect sex steroid hormone receptor function, we considered that part of GnRH analog actions on prostate cells may be mediated through modulation of the human androgen receptor. Using a model HEK293 cell line expressing the GnRH receptor, we demonstrated a novel signalling pathway of the GnRH receptor that induces nuclear translocation of the androgen receptor that renders it transcriptionally inactive. This mechanism involves the calcium-dependent tyrosine kinase Pyk2, the non-receptor tyrosine kinase c-Src and the focal adhesion protein/steroid receptor co-factor, Hic-5. In this setting there is a GnRH-induced association and nuclear translocation of the androgen receptor with Hic-5. GnRH-induced Pyk2 activation opposed the association of Hic-5 with androgen receptor as overexpression of a dominant negative Pyk2 enhanced the GnRH-induced nuclear translocation of a green fluorescent protein-tagged human androgen receptor. GnRH-induced c-Src activation resulted in the phosphorylation of expressed Hic-5 and promoted its association with the human androgen receptor. In contrast to testosterone, GnRH-induced nuclear translocation did not transcriptionally activate the androgen receptor. We then demonstrated that GnRH can also stimulate androgen receptor mobilization in human prostate PC3, BPH-1 and LNCaP cells, and in cultured rat ventral prostate cells through the same mechanism. To determine if GnRH could antagonize androgen effects in normal tissue, we examined the effect of GnRH on rat ventral prostate organ cultures and demonstrated that GnRH can functionally antagonize the actions of testosterone on prostate cell proliferation and tissue growth. This antagonism of testosterone action by GnRH may underlie in part the capacity of GnRH receptor activation to inhibit prostate tumor growth.

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          Most cited references 35

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            Gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptors.

            GnRH and its analogs are used extensively for the treatment of hormone-dependent diseases and assisted reproductive techniques. They also have potential as novel contraceptives in men and women. A thorough delineation of the molecular mechanisms involved in ligand binding, receptor activation, and intracellular signal transduction is kernel to understanding disease processes and the development of specific interventions. Twenty-three structural variants of GnRH have been identified in protochordates and vertebrates. In many vertebrates, three GnRHs and three cognate receptors have been identified with distinct distributions and functions. In man, the hypothalamic GnRH regulates gonadotropin secretion through the pituitary GnRH type I receptor via activation of G(q). In-depth studies have identified amino acid residues in both the ligand and receptor involved in binding, receptor activation, and translation into intracellular signal transduction. Although the predominant coupling of the type I GnRH receptor in the gonadotrope is through productive G(q) stimulation, signal transduction can occur via other G proteins and potentially by G protein-independent means. The eventual selection of intracellular signaling may be specifically directed by variations in ligand structure. A second form of GnRH, GnRH II, conserved in all higher vertebrates, including man, is present in extrahypothalamic brain and many reproductive tissues. Its cognate receptor has been cloned from various vertebrate species, including New and Old World primates. The human gene homolog of this receptor, however, has a frame-shift and stop codon, and it appears that GnRH II signaling occurs through the type I GnRH receptor. There has been considerable plasticity in the use of different GnRHs, receptors, and signaling pathways for diverse functions. Delineation of the structural elements in GnRH and the receptor, which facilitate differential signaling, will contribute to the development of novel interventive GnRH analogs.
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                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                March 2007
                28 March 2007
                : 84
                : 5
                : 285-300
                aMedical Research Council Human Reproductive Sciences Unit, The Queen’s Medical Research Institute, and bArdana Bioscience, Edinburgh, UK
                98402 Neuroendocrinology 2006;84:285–300
                © 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 11, References: 56, Pages: 16
                GnRH, Gonadotropins, Gonadal Steroids and Reproduction


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