Hedgehog pathway responsiveness correlates with the presence of primary cilia on prostate stromal cells

Jingxian Zhang, Robert J. Lipinski, Jerry J. Gipp, Aubie K. Shaw, Wade Bushman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Background. Hedgehog (Hh) signaling from the urogenital sinus (UGS) epithelium to the surrounding mesenchyme plays a critical role in regulating ductal formation and growth during prostate development. The primary cilium, a feature of most interphase vertebrate cell types, serves as a required localization domain for Hh signaling transducing proteins. Results. Immunostaining revealed the presence of primary cilia in mesenchymal cells of the developing prostate. Cell-based assays of a urongenital sinus mesenchymal cell line (UGSM-2) revealed that proliferation-limiting (serum starvation and/or confluence) growth conditions promoted cilia formation and correlated with pathway activation associated with accumulation of Smoothened in primary cilia. The prostate cancer cell lines PC-3, LNCaP, and 22RV1, previously shown to lack demonstrable autocrine Hh signaling capacity, did not exhibit primary cilia even under proliferation-limiting growth conditions. Conclusion. We conclude that paracrine Hedgehog signaling activity in the prostate is associated with the presence of primary cilia on stromal cells but that a role in autocrine Hh signaling remains speculative.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number50
JournalBMC Developmental Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to Kathleen Sulik, Deborah Dehart, Crist Cook and Kathy Schell and the UW-CCC Flow Cytometry facility for technical assistance. This work was supported from the National Institute of Health (DK065303-01 and DK056238) and the Robert and Delores Schnoes Chair in Urologic Research.


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