Fibroblast growth factor receptor 2 tyrosine kinase is required for prostatic morphogenesis and the acquisition of strict androgen dependency for adult tissue homeostasis
The fibroblast growth factor (FGF) family consists of 22 members and regulates a broad spectrum of biological activities by activating diverse isotypes of FGF receptor tyrosine kinases (FGFRs). Among the FGFs, FGF7 and FGF10 have been implicated in the regulation of prostate development and prostate tissue homeostasis by signaling through the FGFR2 isoform. Using conditional gene ablation with the Cre-LoxP system in mice, we demonstrate a tissue-specific requirement for FGFR2 in urogenital
... elial cells -the precursors of prostatic epithelial cells -for prostatic branching morphogenesis and prostatic growth. Most Fgfr2 conditional null (Fgfr2 cn ) embryos developed only two dorsal prostatic (dp) and two lateral prostatic (lp) lobes. This contrasts to wild-type prostate, which has two anterior prostatic (ap), two dp, two lp and two ventral prostatic (vp) lobes. Unlike wild-type prostates, which are composed of well developed epithelial ductal networks, the Fgfr2 cn prostates, despite retaining a compartmented tissue structure, exhibited a primitive epithelial architecture. Moreover, although Fgfr2 cn prostates continued to produce secretory proteins in an androgen-dependent manner, they responded poorly to androgen with respect to tissue homeostasis. The results demonstrate that FGFR2 is important for prostate organogenesis and for the prostate to develop into a strictly androgen-dependent organ with respect to tissue homeostasis but not to the secretory function, implying that androgens may regulate tissue homeostasis and tissue function differently. Therefore, Fgfr2 cn prostates provide a useful animal model for scrutinizing molecular mechanisms by which androgens regulate prostate growth, homeostasis and function, and may yield clues as to how advanced-tumor prostate cells escape strict androgen regulations.