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Hennenberg, Martin; Strittmatter, Frank; Schmetkamp, Henning; Rutz, Beata; Walther, Sebastian; Stief, Christian G.; Gratzke, Christian: The cAMP effector EPAC activates Elk1 transcription factor in prostate smooth muscle, and is a minor regulator of alpha 1-adrenergic contraction. In: Journal of Biomedical Science 2013, 20:46
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Abstract

Background: Prostate smooth muscle tone is regulated by alpha 1-adrenoceptor-induced contraction and cAMP-mediated relaxation. EPAC is an effector of cAMP, being involved in smooth muscle relaxation and cell cycle control outside the lower urinary tract. Here, we investigated the expression and function of EPAC in human prostate tissues from patients undergoing radical prostatectomy. Results: mRNA and protein expression of EPAC was detected in all prostate tissues by RT-PCR and Western blot analysis. Immunoreactivity was observed in stromal cells, and colocalized with immunofluorescence for a-smooth muscle actin and calponin. Under normal conditions, noradrenaline-or phenylephrine-induced contraction of prostate strips in the organ bath was not affected by the EPAC activator pCPT (SP-8-pCPT-2'-O-Me-cAMPS.NA) (30 mu M). However, when the cyclooxygenase inhibitor indomethacin (50 mu M) was added, EPAC activators pCPT and OME (8-CPT-2'-O-Me-cAMP.Na) (30 mu M) significantly reduced contractions by low concentrations of phenylephrine. These effects were not observed on noradrenaline-induced contraction. OME and pCPT caused phosphorylation of the transcription factor Elk1 in prostate tissues. Elk1 activation was confirmed by EMSA (electrophoretic mobility shift assay), where OME and pCPT incresed Elk1 binding to a specific DNA probe. Conclusions: EPAC activation may reduce alpha 1-adrenergic prostate contraction in the human prostate, although this effect is masked by cyclooxygenases and beta-adrenoceptors. A main EPAC function in the human prostate may be the regulation of the transcription factor Elk1.