Vcsa1 Acts as a Marker of Erectile Function Recovery After Gene Therapeutic and Pharmacological Interventions

Giulia Calenda, Yuehong Tong, Moses Tar, Daniel Lowe, Joseph Siragusa, Arnold Melman, Kelvin P. Davies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose: We identified molecular markers of erectile function, particularly those responding to erectile dysfunction treatment. Materials and Methods: Sprague-Dawley retired breeder rats were intracorporeally injected with pVAX-hSlo, pSMAA-hSlo or the control plasmid pVAX. One week later the intracorporeal pressure-to-blood pressure ratio and gene expression were determined by microarray analysis and quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. Rat corporeal cells were transfected in vitro with pVAX-hSlo, pSMAA-hSlo or pVAX and the change in gene expression was determined. We also determined whether Vcsa1 expression was changed after pharmacotherapy using tadalafil. Results: Animals treated with vectors expressing hSlo had significantly improved erectile function compared to that in controls, accompanied by changed expression of a subset of genes. Vcsa1 was one of the genes that was most changed in expression (the third of approximately 31,000 with greater than 10-fold up-regulation). Changes in gene expression were different than those observed in corporeal cells transfected in vitro, distinguishing gene expression changes that were a direct effect of hSlo over expression. When tadalafil was administered in retired breeder rats, the Vcsa1 transcript increased 4-fold in corporeal tissue compared to that in untreated controls. Conclusions: Our study identifies a set of genes that are changed in response to improved erectile function, rather than as a direct effect of treatment. We noted Vcsa1 may act as marker of the restoration of erectile function after gene transfer and pharmacotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2806-2815
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2009


  • gene expression
  • microarray analysis
  • muscle
  • penis
  • smooth
  • tadalafil

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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