Androgens can Cause Trouble in Breast Tissue

Byron's Comments:

An adverse pathway for androgens in breast tissue is explained.

Study Title:

Steroid hormone transforming aldo-keto reductases and cancer.

Study Abstract:

Prostate and breast cancer are hormone-dependent malignancies of the aging male and female and require the local production of androgens and estrogens to stimulate cell proliferation. Aldo-keto reductases (AKR) play key roles in this process. In the prostate, AKR1C3 (type 5 17beta-HSD) reduces Delta(4)-androstene-3,17-dione to yield testosterone while AKR1C2 (type 3 3alpha-HSD) eliminates 5alpha-dihydrotestosterone (5alpha-DHT), and AKR1C1 forms 3beta-androstanediol (a ligand for ERbeta). In the breast, AKR1C3 forms testosterone, which is converted to 17beta-estradiol by aromatase or reduces estrone to 17beta-estradiol directly. AKR1C3 also acts as a prostaglandin (PG) F synthase and forms PGF(2alpha) and 11beta-PGF(2alpha), which stimulate the FP receptor and prevent the activation of PPARgamma by PGJ(2) ligands. This proproliferative signaling may stimulate the growth of hormone-dependent and -independent prostate and breast cancer.

Study Information:

Penning TM, Byrns MC. Steroid hormone transforming aldo-keto reductases and cancer. Ann N Y Acad Sci.  2009 February  1155:33-42.
Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology, Department of Pharmacology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-6084, USA.






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