Martin Kristian Thomsen

Sox9 is required for prostate development

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The mammalian prostate arises from the urogenital sinus and few factors have been identified to be important in the early stages of prostate development. In this study we show that the transcription factor Sox9 is expressed in the epithelia of all mouse prostatic lobes from the initial stages of their development. We used a conditional approach with mice expressing Cre recombinase under the control of Nkx3.1 regulatory sequences to delete Sox9 from the developing prostate. Mice with a prostate specific deletion of Sox9 showed a lack of ventral prostate development and abnormal anterior prostate differentiation. Analysis of these mutant animals revealed an early loss of expression of genes specific to the prostate epithelia such as Nkx3.1 and Shh and a marked reduction in proliferation in the ventral prostate but not in other lobes. Fgf signalling, through the MAPK pathway, has been shown to be important in prostate development and a lobe specific phenotype was reported for a prostate specific Fgfr2 mutant mouse model. Here we show that the levels of Fgfr2 and Sprouty2, a downstream target of Fgf signalling, were severely reduced in the ventral prostate of Sox9 mutant animals but not in other lobes. Prostate organ culture studies with a Mek inhibitor, U0126, and a Fgf receptor inhibitor, SU5402, indicate that the timing of expression of Cre in the mutant animals could account for the lobe specific phenotype in the Sox9 and Fgfr2 mutants. These studies imply that Sox9 is required for the early differentiation of the prostate bud epithelia.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Pages (from-to)302-11
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2008
Externally publishedYes

    Research areas

  • Animals, Apoptosis, Cell Division, DNA Primers, Epithelial Cells, Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental, High Mobility Group Proteins, In Situ Hybridization, Male, Mice, Organ Culture Techniques, Prostate, SOX9 Transcription Factor, Subrenal Capsule Assay, Transcription Factors, Journal Article, Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

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