The FGFs (fibroblast growth factors) regulate a broad spectrum of biological activities by activating transmembrane FGFR (FGF receptor) tyrosine kinases and their coupled intracellular signalling pathways. In the prostate, the mesenchymal–epithelial interactions mediated by androgen signalling and paracrine factors are essential for gland organogenesis, homoeostasis and tumorigenesis. FGFs mediate these mesenchymal–epithelial interactions in the prostate by paracrinal crosstalk through a diverse set of ligands and receptors. Gain- and loss-of-function studies in mouse models have demonstrated the requirement for the FGF signalling axis in prostate development and homoeostasis. The aberrant induction of this axis in either compartment of the prostate results in developmental disorders, disrupts the homoeostatic balance and leads to prostate carcinogenesis. FGFs are also implicated in mediating androgen signalling in the prostate between mesenchymal and epithelial compartments. Therefore studying FGF signalling in the prostate will help us to better understand the underlying molecular mechanisms by which the gland develops, maintains homoeostasis and undergoes carcinogenesis; as well as yield clues on how androgens mediate these processes and how advanced-tumour prostate cells escape strict androgen regulations.

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