Role of epithelial cell fibroblast growth factor receptor substrate 2α in prostate development, regeneration and tumorigenesis

Yongyou Zhang, Jue Zhang, Yongshun Lin, Yongsheng Lan, Chunhong Lin, Jim W. Xuan, Michael M. Shen, Wallace L. McKeehan, Norman M. Greenberg, Fen Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


The fibroblast growth factor (FGF) regulates a broad spectrum of biological activities by activation of transmembrane FGF receptor FGFR) tyrosine kinases and their coupled intracellular signaling pathways. FGF receptor substrate 2α (FRS2α) is an FGFR interactive adaptor protein that links multiple signaling pathways to the activated FGFR kinase. We previously showed that FGFR2 in the prostate epithelium is important for branching morphogenesis and for the acquisition of the androgen responsiveness. Here we show in mice that FRS2α is uniformly expressed in the epithelial cells of developing prostates, whereas it is expressed only in basal cells of the mature prostate epithelium. However, expression of FRS2α was apparent in luminal epithelial cells of regenerating prostates and prostate tumors. To investigate FRS2α function in the prostate, the Frs2α alleles were ablated specifically in the prostatic epithelial precursor cells during prostate development. Similar to the ablation of Fgfr2, ablation of Frs2α disrupted MAP kinase activation, impaired prostatic ductal branching morphogenesis and compromised cell proliferation. Unlike the Fgfr2 ablation, disrupting Frs2α had no effect on the response of the prostate to androgens. More importantly, ablation of Frs2α inhibited prostatic tumorigenesis induced by oncogenic viral proteins. The results suggest that FRS2α-mediated signals in prostate epithelial cells promote branching morphogenesis and proliferation, and that aberrant activation of FRS2-linked pathways might promote tumorigenesis. Thus, the prostate-specific Frs2acn mice provide a useful animal model for scrutinizing the molecular mechanisms underlying prostatic development and tumorigenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)775-784
Number of pages10
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 2008


  • Adaptor proteins
  • Growth factors
  • Mouse models
  • Prostate cancer
  • Receptor tyrosine kinases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology


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