Prostatic Cancer: Clinical Significance of Receptor Studies
In recent years, there has been a substantial increase in our knowledge about the mechanism of action of sex steroids in hormone responsive target organs. It is now believed that the high concentration of hormones measured in cells of organs such as breast, uterus and prostate is due to a binding (receptor) protein in the cytoplasm; this protein binds the appropriate hormones specifically and with a high affinity. Following the binding, the receptor protein undergoes a process known as activation — permitting or causing its translocation to the nucleus. Activation and translocation occur within minutes of the hormone entering the cell and the whole process has been shown to be energy dependent. Once within the nucleus, the hormone receptor forms a complex with the chromatin. This final step induces several responses characteristic of the steroid sensitive tissue and it should be noted that these processes are not manifested before the hormonal stimulation. This is, however, an over-simplification — since in some target tissues hormones entering the cell may also be subjected to metabolism (1).
KeywordsAdenocarcinoma Testosterone Progesterone Androgen Estradiol
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