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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013, Article ID 576472, 8 pages
Research Article

Cytokeratin 18 Is Not Required for Morphogenesis of Developing Prostates but Contributes to Adult Prostate Regeneration

1State Key Laboratory of Oncogenes and Related Genes, Stem Cell Research Center, Renji Hospital, 160 Pu Jian Road, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200127, China
2Med-X Research Institute, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200030, China

Received 30 April 2013; Accepted 17 October 2013

Academic Editor: Paul Crispen

Copyright © 2013 Chenlu Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Cytokeratin 18 (CK18) is a key component of keratin-containing intermediate filaments and has long been used as a classic luminal cell marker in prostatic tissue. However, the in vivo function of CK18 in prostate is not known so far. We reported in this study, unexpectedly, that deletion of CK18 in a mouse model did not affect the morphological or the histological structures of adult prostate, as the CK18 knockout prostate displayed a normal glandular ductal structure, branching pattern, and composition of both luminal and basal cells. However, CK18 loss compromised the regenerative tubular branching in dorsolateral prostate after castration and androgen replacement. Therefore, in contrast to its importance as luminal cell marker, CK18 is dispensable for the prostate morphogenesis but contributes to adult prostate regeneration.