Comparative effects of DHEA and DHT on gene expression in human LNCaP prostate cancer cells

Vernon E. Steele, Julia T. Arnold, Hanh Le, Grant Izmirlian, Marc R. Blackman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: DHEA is widely used as a dietary supplement in older men. Because DHEA can be converted to androgens or estrogens, such use may promote prostate cancer. In this study, the effects of DHEA were compared with those of DHT using gene expression array profiles in human LNCaP prostate cancer cells. Materials and Methods: LNCaP cells were exposed to DHEA (300 nM), DHT (300 nM), or vehicle for 48 h, and mRNA expression was measured using Affymetrix HU-95 gene chips. Gene expression values were sorted in ascending order on the p-values corresponding to the extent of differential RNA expression between control and either hormone treatment. Results: S100 calcium binding protein, neurotensin, 24-dehydrocholesterol reductase, and anterior-gradient 2 homologue were the four most differentially expressed genes (p-values all <3×10-5). Nested tests of differential expression revealed lesser effects of DHEA versus DHT treatment (p<0.01) for the S100 calcium binding protein and neurotensin genes. Microarray findings were confirmed by QRT-PCR. The top 83 genes exhibiting differential expression after DHEA or DHT were used for pathway analysis. DHT decreased expression of more genes involved in intercellular communication, signal transduction, nucleic acid binding and transport, and in structural components, such as myosin and golgin, than DHEA. Conclusion: These data revealed consistent, measurable changes in gene expression patterns following treatment of LNCaP prostate cancer cells with DHEA and DHT. Understanding the mechanisms of DHEA versus DHT actions in the prostate may help clarify the separate and interactive effects of androgenic and estrogenic actions in prostate cancer progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3205-3215
Number of pages11
JournalAnticancer research
Issue number5 A
StatePublished - Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • DHEA
  • DHT
  • Gene expression
  • Prostate cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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