Cellular and Molecular Biology


EGF receptor signaling in prostate morphogenesis and tumorigenesis

H-G. Kim1, J. Kassis1, J.C. Souto1, T. Turner2 and A. Wells1

1Department of Pathology, University of Alabama at Birmingham and Birmingham VA Medical Center, Birmingham and 2Department of Biology, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, USA

Offprint requests to: Alan Wells, LHRB 531, 701 19th St. South, Department of Pathology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294-0007, USA. Fax: (205) 975-9927. e-mail: wells@uab.edu


Summary. The growth and differentiation of the prostate gland are largely dependent on extracellular signaling factors. In addition to androgens, many polypeptide growth factors function through autocrine or paracrine networks. The paracrine interaction between stromal and epithelial cells is critical for androgen regulation, morphogenesis, epithelial cell proliferation, and secretory differentiation. Efforts to identify the essential growth factors and studies on their effects have been prompted by the fact that prostate cells in culture need substances other than androgens for proliferation. In this context, transforming growth factor-a and epidermal growth factor, among others, have been studied extensively. Recent advances have suggested that these EGF receptor (EGFR) ligands play roles not only during glandular development but also during neoplastic transformation and tumor progression. The cell responses most relevant to the role of this receptor signaling are both mitogenesis and cell motility. The aim of the review is to provide an overview of current knowledge about EGFR and its ligands in the organogenesis and tumorigenesis of the prostate gland. Histol. Histopathol. 14, 1175-1182 (1999)

Key words: Organogenesis, Prostate carcinoma, Development, Signaling, Tumor Invasion

DOI: 10.14670/HH-14.1175