Expression of androgen receptor associated protein 55 (ARA55) in the developing human fetal prostate

Guoping Cai, Hongying Huang, Ellen Shapiro, Holly Zhou, Shuyuan Yeh, Jonathan Melamed, M. Alba Greco, Peng Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Purpose: Development and differentiation of the human fetal prostate are androgen dependent and follow a specific pattern of solid bud-ductal morphogenesis, which involves stromal-epithelial interactions. Androgen receptor associated protein 55 (ARA55) an androgen receptor coactivator localized in stromal cells, binds to androgen receptor (AR) and regulates androgen receptor translocation and transcriptional activity. We investigated whether ARA55 has a role in human prostate development. Materials and Methods: ARA55 expression was examined in 25 human prostates from fetuses at gestational ages 10 to 40 weeks and compared to the expression of 34βE12 (a basal cell marker), smooth muscle actin, desmin (a smooth muscle marker), vimentin (a mesenchymal marker) and Ki-67 (a proliferation marker) by immunohistochemistry. Results: Prostatic epithelium appeared as solid epithelial buds from the urogenital sinus. It underwent arborization and ductal differentiation from the center to the periphery. ARA55 was expressed in stromal cells with a zonal pattern, primarily in the peripheral zone surrounding the noncanalized acini. Most cells in solid buds were positive for 34βE12, while only basal layer cells in the centrally located epithelial ducts stained with 34βE12. Solid buds also had a higher proliferation index than ducts. In addition, ARA55 expressing stromal cells but not ARA55 negative stromal cells showed smooth muscle differentiation. Conclusions: The intimate relationship between ARA55 expressing stromal cells and mitotically active, noncanalized acini suggests that ARA55 has a role in the stromal-epithelial interaction involved in fetal prostate development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2190-2193
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • ARA55 protein
  • Fetus
  • Human development
  • Prostate
  • Receptors, androgen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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