AGR2, an androgen-inducible secretory protein overexpressed in prostate cancer

Jin San Zhang, Aiyu Gong, John C. Cheville, David I. Smith, Charles Y.F. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Scopus citations


AGR2, the human homologue of Xenopus anterior gradient 2 (XAG2), was identified by a suppression subtractive hybridization-based technique as an androgen-inducible gene. There are two AGR2 transcripts, which encode the same secretory protein of 175 amino acids. The androgen induction was time- and dose-dependent, with more than a 10-fold increase in the level of AGR2 mRNA after 48 hr of treatment with 10-9 M R1881. Expression of AGR2 mRNA was specifically detected in limited human tissue rich in epithelial cells, including the prostate gland. Analysis of 46 microdissected primary prostate adenocarcinoma samples showed that AGR2 mRNA expression was markedly elevated in the majority of tumors as compared to matched adjacent benign tissues. Androgen-induced AGR2 protein expression was demonstrated in LNCaP cells by Western blot analysis with an anti-AGR2 antibody. Immunohistochemistry analysis indicated that AGR2 protein expression was highly restricted to the secretory epithelial cells in the prostate gland. In tissue sections from radical prostatectomy specimens, immunphistochemical staining of AGR2 showed markedly increased expression in high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia and Gleason pattern 3-4 prostatic adenocarcinoma. Therefore, the androgen-induced secretory protein AGR2 may serve as a potential therapeutic target and/or molecular marker for prostate cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)249-259
Number of pages11
JournalGenes Chromosomes and Cancer
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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