Prolactin-induced prostate tumorigenesis.
Recent Advances in Prolactin Research
Advances in experimental medicine and biology, January 2015
Lucila Sackmann-Sala, Vincent Goffin
The physiological role of prolactin (PRL) in the prostate gland is not clearly understood. Genetically-modified mouse models that have invalidated actors of the PRL signaling axis failed to identify an essential regulatory function on this tissue. However, a large body of evidence suggests an important role for PRL in prostate tumorigenesis. Mainly through the activation of its downstream target STAT5, PRL can induce growth and survival of prostate cancer cells and tissues in several experimental settings. In the clinic, PRL expression and STAT5 activation in human prostate tumors correlate with disease severity. Available data point to a role of local (autocrine/paracrine) rather than circulating (endocrine) PRL in the induction of disease progression. In mice, transgenic expression of PRL in the prostate leads to enhanced epithelial hyperplasia and dysplasia, with amplification of basal/stem cells which have been recently identified as prostate cancer-initiating cells. Thus, targeting PRL receptor (PRLR)/STAT5 signaling may provide an alternative therapy for the treatment of prostate cancer. Corresponding targeted therapies currently in preclinical development include antagonists or blocking antibodies for the PRLR and small molecule inhibitors directed against the tyrosine kinase JAK2 upstream of STAT5. Present efforts are aimed at validating these therapies for the treatment of prostate cancer, while understanding the mechanisms of disease progression induced by PRL/STAT5.
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