Differential expression of OATP1B3 mediates unconjugated testosterone influx

Tristan M. Sissung, Ariel M. Ley, Jonathan D. Strope, Edel M. McCrea, Shaunna Beedie, Cody J. Peer, Suneet Shukla, Jennifer Van Velkinburgh, Kelie Reece, Sarah Troutman, Tessa Campbell, Elena Fernandez, Phoebe Huang, Jordan Smith, Nilay Thakkar, David J. Venzon, Stefan Brenner, Wooin Lee, Maria Merino, Ji LuoWalter Jager, Douglas K. Price, Cindy H. Chau, William D. Figg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) has greater intratumoral testosterone concentrations than similar tumors from eugonadal men; simple diffusion does not account for this observation. This study was undertaken to ascertain the androgen uptake kinetics, functional, and clinical relevance of de novo expression of the steroid hormone transporter OATP1B3 (SLCO1B3). Experiments testing the cellular uptake of androgens suggest that testosterone is an excellent substrate of OATP1B3 (Km = 23.2 mmol/L; Vmax = 321.6 μmol/mg/minute), and cells expressing a doxycycline-inducible SLCO1B3 construct had greater uptake of a clinically relevant concentration of 3H-testosterone (50 nmol/L; 1.6-fold, P = 0.0027). When compared with Slco1b2 (-/-) mice, Slco1b2 (-/-)/hSLCO1B3 knockins had greater hepatic uptake (15% greater AUC, P = 0.0040) and lower plasma exposure to 3H-testosterone (17% lower AUC, P = 0.0030). Of 82 transporters genes, SLCO1B3 is the second-most differentially expressed transporter in CRPC cell lines (116-fold vs. androgen-sensitive cells), with a differentially spliced cancer-type ct-SLCO1B3 making up the majority of SLCO1B3 expression. Over-expression of SLCO1B3 in androgen-responsive cells results in 1.5- to 2-fold greater testosterone uptake, whereas siRNA knockdown of SLCO1B3 in CRPC cells did not change intracellular testosterone concentration. Primary human prostate tumors express SLCO1B3 to a greater extent than ct-SLCO1B3 (26% of total SLCO1B3 expression vs. 0.08%), suggesting that androgen uptake in these tumor cells also is greater. Non-liver tumors do not differentially express SLCO1B3.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1096-1105
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Cancer Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes


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