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Dara O Kavanagh, Marie McIlroy, Eddie Myers, Fiona Bane, Thomas B Crotty, E McDermott, Arnold D Hill, and Leonie S Young

Epidemiological, clinical, and molecular studies suggest a role for oestrogen in thyroid cancer. How oestrogen mediates its effects and the consequence of it on clinical outcome has not been fully elucidated. The participation of coregulatory proteins in modulating oestrogen receptor (ER) function and input of crosstalk with the tyrosine kinase receptor HER2 was investigated. Oestrogen induced cell proliferation in the follicular thyroid cancer (FTC)-133 cells, but not in the anaplastic 8305C cell line. Knockdown of the coactivator steroid receptor coactivator (SRC)-1 inhibited FTC-133 basal, but not oestrogen induced, cell proliferation. Oestrogen also increased protein expression of SRC-1 and the ER target gene cyclin D1 in the FTC-133 cell line. ERα, ERβ, the coregulatory proteins SRC-1 and nuclear corepressor (NCoR), and the tyrosine kinase receptor HER2 were localised by immunohistochemistry and immnofluorescence in paraffin-embedded tissue from thyroid tumour patients (n=111). ERα was colocalised with both SRC-1 and NCoR to the nuclei of the tumour epithelial cells. Expression of ERα and NCoR was found predominantly in non-anaplastic tumours and was significantly associated with well-differentiated tumours and reduced incidence of disease recurrence. In non-anaplastic tumours, HER2 was significantly associated with SRC-1, and these proteins were associated with poorly differentiated tumours, capsular invasion and disease recurrence. Totally, 87% of anaplastic tumours were positive for SRC-1. Kaplan–Meier estimates of disease-free survival indicated that in thyroid cancer, SRC-1 strongly correlates with reduced disease-free survival (P<0.001), whereas NCoR predicted increased survival (P<0.001). These data suggest opposing roles for the coregulators SRC-1 and NCoR in thyroid tumour progression.

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K-M Fung, E N S Samara, C Wong, A Metwalli, R Krlin, B Bane, C Z Liu, J T Yang, J V Pitha, D J Culkin, B P Kropp, T M Penning, and Hsueh-Kung Lin

Type 2 3α-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3α-HSD) is a multi-functional enzyme that possesses 3α-, 17β- and 20α-HSD, as well as prostaglandin (PG) F synthase activities and catalyzes androgen, estrogen, progestin and PG metabolism. Type 2 3α-HSD was cloned from human prostate, is a member of the aldo-keto reductase (AKR) superfamily and was named AKR1C3. In androgen target tissues such as the prostate, AKR1C3 catalyzes the conversion of Δ4-androstene-3,17-dione to testosterone, 5α-dihydrotestosterone to 5α-androstane-3α,17β-diol (3α-diol), and 3α-diol to androsterone. Thus AKR1C3 may regulate the balance of androgens and hence trans-activation of the androgen receptor in these tissues. Tissue distribution studies indicate that AKR1C3 transcripts are highly expressed in human prostate. To measure AKR1C3 protein expression and its distribution in the prostate, we raised a monoclonal antibody specifically recognizing AKR1C3. This antibody allowed us to distinguish AKR1C3 from other AKR1C family members in human tissues. Immunoblot analysis showed that this monoclonal antibody binds to one species of protein in primary cultures of prostate epithelial cells and in LNCaP prostate cancer cells. Immunohistochemistry with this antibody on human prostate detected strong nuclear immunoreactivity in normal stromal and smooth muscle cells, perineurial cells, urothelial (transitional) cells, and endothelial cells. Normal prostate epithelial cells were only faintly immunoreactive or negative. Positive immunoreactivity was demonstrated in primary prostatic adenocarcinoma in 9 of 11 cases. Variable increases in immunoreactivity for AKR1C3 was also demonstrated in non-neoplastic changes in the prostate including chronic inflammation, atrophy and urothelial (transitional) cell metaplasia. We conclude that elevated expression of AKR1C3 is highly associated with prostate carcinoma. Although the biological significance of elevated AKR1C3 in prostatic carcinoma is uncertain, AKR1C3 may be responsible for the trophic effects of androgens and/or PGs on prostatic epithelial cells.