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Open Access Research article

Down regulation of PSA by C/EBPα is associated with loss of AR expression and inhibition of PSA promoter activity in the LNCaP cell Line

Hong Yin1*, Hanna S Radomska2, Daniel G Tenen2 and Jonathan Glass1

Author Affiliations

1 Feist-Weiller Cancer Center and Department of Medicine, LSU Health Sciences Center, Shreveport, LA, USA

2 Harvard Institute of Medicine, Beth Israel Hospital, Boston, MA, USA

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BMC Cancer 2006, 6:158  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-6-158

Published: 14 June 2006



C/EBPα is a transcription factor essential for terminal differentiation of several cell types. It has not known if C/EBPα protein is expressed and functions in the prostate gland.


The presence of C/EBPα in normal and cancerous prostate epithelium was examined by immunochemistry. Over expression of C/EBPα in LNCaP cells was conducted with retrovirus-mediated transduction. PSA expression was examined by RT-PCR and western blot and PSA promoter activity by luciferase reporter assay.


In normal prostate C/EBPα was expressed in the basal layer of the epithelium. In prostate cancer C/EBPα was detected at low levels throughout the cancers and in advanced prostate cancer C/EBPα expression was associated with decreased expression of AR and PSA. Overexpression of C/EBPα inhibited epigenetically PSA expression and was accompanied by the loss of expression of AR. Transient increase of C/EBPα inhibited the PSA promoter/enhancer activity independently of expression of AR.


In LNCaP cells C/EBPα over expression inhibits expression of PSA by AR -dependent and independent mechanisms and by extinguishing AR expression provides a model for hormonal independent cell growth.