Date of Award

Spring 5-21-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Biological Science

First Advisor

Joann Powell, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Shafiq Khan, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Valerie Odero-Marah, Ph.D.


The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) has been reported to interact with multiple signaling pathways during prostate development including the androgen receptor. AhR was overexpressed in LNCaP using PLNCX2 retrovirus vector containing AhR cDNA to determine if ectopic overexpression induces castrate resistant phenotype. The highly overexpressed AhR clone illustrated further increase in transcriptional and promotor activity for AhR and AR compared to the moderately overexpressed AhR clone and control. Western blot analysis showed more AhR, AR, cSrc, and pSrc protein expression in clones. AhR overexpression was found to induce several biological properties such as migration, invasion, proliferation, and promotion of G1 to S phase during the cell cycle. Bicalutamide treatment had no effect on AR transcriptional activity in either clone, proving resistance to anti-androgen therapy. Our results confirm that overexpression of AhR induces constitutive activity and stimulates androgen receptor signaling. This suggests a role for AhR in the development of CRPC.

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