Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Historical Contribution: 1971, Chung and Coffey, The Prostate Nuclei

Biochemical characterization of prostatic nuclei. I. Androgen-induced changes in nuclear proteins L. W. Chung and D. S. Coffey Biochim Biophys Acta 1971 247: 570-83


Based on prior work, Dr. Coffey and colleagues demonstrated that the DNA, RNA and protein synthesis of the prostate gland varied with androgen levels (see the Historical Contribution: 1968). In this 1971 investigation (written in two parts), Drs. Chung and Coffey analyzed the nuclei and DNA content of rats following castration. They found that nuclei from prostate cells could easily be recovered in rats who were castrate (approximately 60%). However, in normal rats and those who received testosterone replacement (after castration) – the proportion of nuclei recovered was dramatically lower (13-15%). Thorough investigation determined a number of factors that contributed to the difference in prostate nuclei:
  1. Magnesium levels and the nuclear membranes are affected by testosterone levels. Aberrations in these normal cellular processes resulted in lower nuclei yield.
  2. Testosterone levels also affect the size of the nuclei (it had previously been demonstrated that testosterone affected the size of the whole prostate cell). Just as the prostate cell shrinks under castrate levels, so too does the prostate cell nucleus.
  3. Nuclear protein to DNA content (as measured by nuclear proteins and nuclear membrane proteins) is decreased with low testosterone levels and,
  4. … can be restored to normal after testosterone supplementation.

This series of elegant experiments can be found in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta. It is a wonderful example of Dr. Coffey's thoughtful and inventive approach to deciphering the prostate.


Visit the Centennial Website or click here to see more about the first 100 years at the Brady.


HISTORICAL CONTRIBUTIONS highlight the greatest academic manuscripts from the Brady Urological Institute over the past 100 years.  As the Brady Urological Institute approaches its centennial, we will present a HISTORICAL CONTRIBUTION from each of the past 100 years.  In the most recent experience, the most highly cited article from each year is selected; older manuscripts were selected based on their perceived impact on the field.  We hope you enjoy! 


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