A study in the molecular and cellular functions of GSK3-beta in prostate adenocarcinoma

Thomas Ricardo Salas, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Kinases are part of a complex network of signaling pathways that enable a cell to respond to changes in environmental conditions in a regulated and coordinated way. For example, Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3 beta (GSK3β) modulates conformational changes, protein-protein interaction, protein degradation, and activation of unique domains in proteins that transduce signals from the extracellular milieu to the nucleus. In this project, I investigated the expression and function that GSK3β exhibits in prostate cells. The capacity of GSK3β to regulate two transcription factors (JUN and CREB), which are known to be inversely utilized in prostate tumor cells, was measured. JUN/AP1 is constitutively activated in PC-3 cells; whereas, CREB/CRE activity is ∼20 fold less than the former. GSK3β overexpression obliterates JUN/AP1 activity. With respect to CREB GSK3β increases CREB/CRE activity. Cellular levels of active GSK3β can determine whether JUN or CREB is preferentially active in the PC-3s. Theoretically, in response to a particular cellular context or stimulus, a cell may coordinate JUN and CREB function by regulating GSK3β. A comparison of various prostate cell lines showed that active GSK3β is less expressed in normal prostate epithelial cells than in tumor cells. Differentially expressed active (GSK3β) may correlate with progression of prostate carcinoma. If a known marker associated with carcinoma of the prostate could be shown to be regulated by GSK3β then, further study of GSK3β may lead to a better understanding of both possible prevention of the disease and improved therapy for advanced stages. The androgen receptor (AR) is an intriguing phosphoprotein whose regulation is potentially determined by a variety of kinases. One of these is (GSK3β) I found that (GSK3β) is a regulator of the androgen receptor in both the unliganded and liganded states. It can inhibit AR function as measured by reporter assays. Also, GSK3β associates with the AR at the DNA binding domain because deletion constructs expressing either the n-terminus or the c-terminus (both having the DBD in common) immunoprecipitated with GSK3β. Increased understanding of how GSK3β functions in prostate cancer would provide clues into how (1) certain signal pathways are coordinated and (2) the androgen receptor may be regulated.

Subject Area

Cellular biology|Molecular biology|Oncology

Recommended Citation

Salas, Thomas Ricardo, "A study in the molecular and cellular functions of GSK3-beta in prostate adenocarcinoma" (2001). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3004457.