The transcriptomics of de novo androgen biosynthesis in prostate cancer cells following androgen reduction

Jinrong Cheng, Yue Wu, James L. Mohler, Clement Ip

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The progression of prostate cancer to the castration-recurrent phenotype remains a major problem medically. The present study examined the transcriptomics of de novo androgen synthesis as a potential mechanism to escape from dependence on circulating androgen. VCaP, LNCaP and LaPC4 cells were acclimated to 1 nM testosterone for 5 generations before subjecting them to a reduced level of 0.03 nM testosterone. Changes in gene expression were quantified using qRT-PCR. analyses of the cholesterol biosynthesis pathway and the Δ4, Δ5 and backdoor steroidogenic pathways were carried out. VCaP cells showed no change in the transcriptome of cholesterol biosynthesis. however, several receptors for cholesterol transport were upregulated. The Δ4 and Δ5 steroidogenic pathways, but not the backdoor pathway, were stimulated. additionally, androgen receptor (AR) expression was increased. Taken together, the above changes might allow recovery of AR activity to a near normal level. In contrast, LNCaP cells showed only minimal adjustment in the transcriptome of steroidogenesis. LAPC4 cells were equally unresponsive to boosting the machinery of androgen production. In brief, our results suggest that the VCaP model is an appropriate model for further investigation of targeting the androgen-AR axis to block the emergence of castration-resistant prostate cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1033-1042
Number of pages10
JournalCancer Biology and Therapy
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 15 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Androgen reduction
  • Cholesterol biosynthesis
  • Cholesterol uptake
  • De novo steroidogenesis
  • Gene expression
  • Prostate cancer
  • Transcriptomics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer Research


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