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

Cytochrome P450 3A5 is highly expressed in normal prostate cells but absent in prostate cancer.

Testosterone is essential for the growth and function of the luminal prostate cells, but it is also critical for the development of prostate cancer, which in the majority of the cases derives from luminal cells. Cytochrome P450 3A (CYP3A) enzymes hydroxylate testosterone and dehydroepiandrosterone to less active metabolites, which might be the basis for the association between CYP3A polymorphisms and prostate cancer. However, it is unknown whether the CYP3A enzymes are expressed at relevant levels in the prostate and which polymorphisms could affect this tissue-specific CYP3A activity. Thus, we measured CYP3A4, CYP3A5, CYP3A7, and CYP3A43 mRNA in 14 benign prostatic hyperplasias and ten matched non-tumoral/tumoral prostate samples. We found that CYP3A5 mRNA in non-tumoral prostate tissue was 10% of the average amount of liver samples, whereas the expression of the other CYP3A genes was much lower. Similarly to liver, CYP3A5*3 polymorphism decreased CYP3A5 mRNA content 13-fold. CYP3A5 protein was detected in non-tumoral prostate microsomes by western blot, and immunohistochemistry (IHC) localized CYP3A5 exclusively in the basolateral prostate cells. In contrast to the normal tissue, IHC and RT-PCR showed that tumoral tissue lacked CYP3A5 expression. In conclusion, prostate basolateral cells express high levels of CYP3A5 which dramatically decrease in tumoral tissue. This finding supports an endogenous function of CYP3A5 related to the metabolism of intra-prostatic androgens and cell growth, and that polymorphisms affecting CYP3A5 activity may result in altered prostate cancer risk and aggressiveness.[1]


  1. Cytochrome P450 3A5 is highly expressed in normal prostate cells but absent in prostate cancer. Leskelä, S., Honrado, E., Montero-Conde, C., Landa, I., Cascón, A., Letón, R., Talavera, P., Cózar, J.M., Concha, A., Robledo, M., Rodríguez-Antona, C. Endocr. Relat. Cancer (2007) [Pubmed]
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