The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 51: 229 - 233 (2007)

Vol 51, Issue 3

Proprotein convertases modulate budding and branching morphogenesis of rat ventral prostate

Short Communication | Published: 1 April 2007

Katsunori Uchida1,2, Masahiro Kanai1, Shigenori Yonemura1, Kenichiro Ishii1, Yoshifumi Hirokawa2 and Yoshiki Sugimura1,*

1Nephro-Urologic Surgery and Andrology, Division of Reparative and Regenerative Medicine and 2Pathologic Oncology, Division of Molecular and Experimental Medicine, Mie University Graduate School of Medicine, Mie, Japan


The onset of prostate morphogenesis is involved in the interaction between mesenchyme and epithelium. Proprotein convertases (PCs) activate a variety of growth and differentiation factors including mesenchymal and epithelial factors, such as insulin-like growth factor (IGF) and transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta), which induce ductal budding and branching. In this study, we provide evidence that PCs play a critical role in prostatic budding from the urogenital sinus (UGS) and ductal branching morphogenesis of the neonatal rat ventral prostate. PCs were expressed only in the epithelial cells of neonatal rat prostate. PC activity in the ventral prostate was modulated by endogenous androgen. PC inhibition suppressed prostatic budding and branching. Taken together, our data indicates that androgen-induced PCs initiate the development of the prostate.


proprotein convertase, prostate, development, furin, PC1

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