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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

PRL signal transduction in the epithelial compartment of rat prostate maintained as long-term organ cultures in vitro.

Using long-term organ cultures of rat prostate tissue explants, we previously demonstrated that PRL both stimulates proliferation and acts as an androgen-independent suppressor of apoptosis in prostate epithelial cells, leading to epithelial hyperplasia. In this work we delineate intracellular signaling molecules activated by PRL in prostate tissue to identify candidate signaling proteins that are responsible for maintaining survival and proliferation of prostate epithelium in androgen-deprived growth environment. We now show that signal transducer and activator of transcription-5a (Stat5a) and Stat5b become tyrosine phosphorylated in response to PRL stimulation in rat prostate using prostate organ culture as an experimental model. Stat5 was translocated to the nuclei of epithelial cells of prostate tissue as demonstrated by immunohistochemistry. Furthermore, EMSA showed PRL-inducible binding of Stat5a homodimers and Stat5a/5b heterodimers to the PRL response element of the beta-casein gene promoter. Signaling molecules Stat3, Stat1, MAPK, or protein kinase B, which can be activated by PRL in other target cells, were not activated by PRL in prostate tissue. Furthermore, we show that Stat5a and Stat5b are continuously phosphorylated in rat prostate in vivo, although they are expressed to varying degree in separate lobes of rat prostate. Collectively, our results suggest that PRL signaling in rat prostate tissue is primarily transduced via Stat5a and Stat5b. The Stat5 pathway represents one candidate signaling mechanism, used by PRL and possibly other growth factors and cytokines, that supports the viability of prostate epithelial cells during long-term androgen deprivation.[1]


  1. PRL signal transduction in the epithelial compartment of rat prostate maintained as long-term organ cultures in vitro. Ahonen, T.J., Härkönen, P.L., Rui, H., Nevalainen, M.T. Endocrinology (2002) [Pubmed]
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