Role of IL-6 in Regulating the Androgen Receptor

  • Zoran Culig
  • Alfred Hobisch


Androgen receptor (AR) is expressed in human prostate cancer in which it could be activated by steroid hormones and nonsteroidal compounds. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels are increased in tissues and sera from patients with advanced prostate cancer. AR-negative prostate cancer cell lines express high levels of IL-6. This cytokine may activate signaling pathways of Janus kinase/signal transducers and activators of transcription factors or mitogen-activated protein kinase, thus contributing to tumor cell growth. IL-6 activation of the AR was described by several investigators in various cell lines. This regulation of AR activity is of importance for cellular differentiation, as evidenced by increase of prostate-specific antigen expression. It was shown that the N-terminal region of the AR is required for activation by IL-6. The effect of IL-6 also depends on functional coactivators SRC-1 and p300. Interestingly, cells exposed to a chronic treatment with IL-6 acquire a more malignant phenotype and downregulate AR expression. Further studies are necessary to evaluate whether IL-6/AR axis could be targeted by novel therapies in prostate cancer.


Prostate Cancer Androgen Receptor LNCaP Cell Prostate Cancer Cell Line Androgen Receptor Expression 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of UrologyInnsbruck Medical UniversityInnsbruckAustria

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