Androgen-stimulated UDP-glucose dehydrogenase expression limits prostate androgen availability without impacting hyaluronan levels

Qin Wei, Robert Galbenus, Ashraf Raza, Ronald L. Cerny, Melanie A. Simpson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


UDP-glucose dehydrogenase (UGDH) oxidizes UDP-glucose to UDP-glucuronate, an essential precursor for production of hyaluronan (HA), proteoglycans, and xenobiotic glucuronides. High levels of HA turnover in prostate cancer are correlated with aggressive progression. UGDH expression is high in the normal prostate, although HA accumulation is virtually undetectable. Thus, its normal role in the prostate may be to provide precursors for glucuronosyltransferase enzymes, which inactivate and solubilize androgens by glucuronidation. In this report, we quantified androgen dependence of UGDH, glucuronosyltransferase, and HA synthase expression. Androgen-dependent and androgen-independent human prostate cancer cell lines were used to test the effects of UGDH manipulation on tumor cell growth, HA production, and androgen glucuronidation. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) increased UGDH expression ∼ 2.5-fold in androgen-dependent cells. However, up-regulation of UGDH did not affect HA synthase expression or enhance HA production. Mass spectrometric analysis showed that DHT was converted to a glucuronide, DHT-G, at a 6-fold higher level in androgen- dependent cells relative to androgen-independent cells. The increased solubilization and elimination of DHT corresponded to slower cellular growth kinetics, which could be reversed in androgen-dependent cells by treatment with a UDP-glucuronate scavenger. Collectively, these results suggest that dysregulated expression of UGDH could promote the development of androgen-independent tumor cell growth by increasing available levels of intracellular androgen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2332-2339
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 15 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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