Neuroendocrine cells in human prostate over‐express the anti‐apoptosis protein survivin
ABSTRACT Neuroendocrine (NE) differentiation may be related to the growth and progression of prostate cancer, especially androgen-insensitive tumors. Recently the over-expression of a new anti-apoptosis protein, survivin, has attracted attention for its potential implication in many human cancers. The fact that NE cells in prostate are bcl-2 negative prompted us to investigate if the prostatic NE cells over-express survivin.
Double immunohistochemical staining and immunofluorescence of chromogranin A (CgA) and survivin were performed in 57 patients with localized prostate cancer who underwent radical prostatectomy. The terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TDT)-mediated dUTP-digoxigenin nick end-labeling (TUNEL) method was used for apoptosis detection in three prostate cancer specimens with NE differentiation. The relationship between NE differentiation and clinicopathological characteristics, disease progression as well as patient survival, were analyzed retrospectively.
It was found that NE cells in both benign and malignant prostate tissues over-expressed the anti-apoptosis protein survivin. While apoptosis was detected in non-NE epithelial cells, all NE cells were negative for apoptosis detection. During the period of follow-up, 17 (63%) of 27 patients with NE differentiation had prostate cancer progression, while 12 (40%) of 30 patients without NE differentiation had systemic prostate cancer progression. 10 (37%) of 27 patients with NE differentiation died from prostate cancer during the period of follow up, while 6 (20%) of 30 patients without NE differentiation died from prostate cancer. However, none of these characteristics reached statistical significance, probably because of the small number of cases enrolled.
This study discovers that all the prostatic NE cells express the new anti-apoptosis protein survivin. This provides a strong molecular basis for the hypothesis that NE cells may endure stressful conditions and escape from apoptosis. While our results suggest a trend of NE differentiation with poorer prognosis, the prognosis implication cannot be concluded due to our small sample size.
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ABSTRACT: Neuroendocrine differentiation (NED) has been implicated in prostate cancer progression and hormone-therapy failure. Neuroendocrine cells are non-proliferating and escape apoptotic cell death, although their origin and the causes of their apoptotic resistance have as yet been poorly elucidated. This study demonstrates a new mechanism involved in controlling NED. We report that epidermal growth factor (5-50 ng/ml) promotes neuroendocrine-like differentiation of androgen-independent DU145 prostate cancer cells. This differentiation is associated with an increase in the expression of Neuron Specific Enolase (NSE) and a reduction in cell proliferation and is blocked by inhibiting tyrosine kinase activity with genistein and with compound 56 (C56). An increase in the cAMP level, using dibutryl cAMP (db-cAMP) (1 mM) and isobutylmethylxanthine (100 microM), does not promote NED by itself, but does increase the effect of EGF on NED. In addition, EGF-induced NED protects cells from apoptosis induced with thapsigargin (1 microM) by reducing the thapsigargin-induced cytosolic calcium overload. In order to describe how EGF-induced NED protects cells against thapigargin-induced calcium overload we investigated the spatiotemporal calcium signalling linked to apoptosis. By using thapsigargin in various conditions on DU145 cells and using micro-fluorimetric calcium measurements, we show that depletion of intracellular calcium store induces apoptosis and that the amplitude and duration of the capacitive calcium entry are two apoptosis-modulating parameters. We show that protection against thapsigargin-induced apoptosis conferred by NED is achieved by reducing the amount and the speed of calcium that can be released from calcium pools, as well as modulating the amplitude of the subsequent calcium entry.Endocrine Related Cancer 04/2006; 13(1):181-95. DOI:10.1677/erc.1.01079 · 4.91 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The presence of neuroendocrine (NE) differentiation in the context of predominantly exocrine prostate cancer may play a key role in androgen-independent tumor growth. The prognostic significance of plasma chromogranin A (CgA) was assessed in a series of consecutive prostate cancer patients with hormone-refractory disease. One hundred and eight patients with newly diagnosed hormone-refractory prostate cancer entered the study. Plasma CgA levels and other biochemical parameters, such as serum prostate specific antigen, serum alkaline phosphatase, serum lactate dehydrogenase, serum albumin and hemoglobin concentration, were measured at baseline (i.e. when hormone refractoriness occurred) and their prognostic role was evaluated together with patient performance status, Gleason score (at diagnosis of prostate cancer) and the presence of visceral metastases. Furthermore, plasma CgA was prospectively evaluated in 50 patients undergoing chemotherapy. At baseline, 45 patients (43.3%) showed elevated CgA values. Plasma CgA negatively correlated with survival, either in univariate analysis (P=0.008) or in multivariate analysis, after adjusting for previously mentioned prognostic parameters (P<0.05). In the patient subset undergoing chemotherapy, median CgA (range) values were 13.3 (3.0-141.0) U/l at baseline, 19.1 (3.0-486.0) U/l after 3 months, 20.8 (3.0-702.0) U/l after 6 months and 39.4 (3.0-414.0) U/l after 9 months (P<0.01). The corresponding supranormal rates were 17/50 (34%), 23/50 (46%), 26/50 (52%) and 34/50 (68%) respectively (P<0.005). Elevated plasma CgA levels are frequently observed in prostate cancer patients with hormone-refractory disease and correlate with poor prognosis. NE differentiation in hormone-refractory patients is a time-dependent phenomenon and is not influenced by conventional antineoplastic treatments.Endocrine Related Cancer 03/2005; 12(1):109-17. DOI:10.1677/erc.1.00876 · 4.91 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Survivin is a member of the inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP) family, and is also involved in the regulation of cell division. Survivin is widely expressed in foetal tissues and in human cancers, but generally not in normal adult tissue. This study examined the expression of surviving protein in a series of 293 cases of invasive primary breast carcinoma. Survivin immunoreactivity was assessed using two different polyclonal antibodies, and evaluated semiquantitatively according to the percentage of cells demonstrating distinct nuclear and/or diffuse cytoplasmic staining. Overall, 60% of tumours were positive for survivin: 31% demonstrated nuclear staining only, 13% cytoplasmic only, and 16% of tumour cells demonstrated both nuclear and cytoplasmic staining. Statistical analysis revealed that survivin expression was independent of patient's age, tumour size, histological grade, nodal status, and oestrogen receptor status. In multivariate analysis, nuclear survivin expression was a significant independent prognostic indicator of favourable outcome both in relapse-free and overall survival (P<0.001 and P=0.01, respectively). In conclusion, our results show that survivin is frequently overexpressed in primary breast cancer. Nuclear expression is most common and is an independent prognostic indicator of good prognosis.British Journal of Cancer 04/2003; 88(7):1077-83. DOI:10.1038/sj.bjc.6600776 · 4.82 Impact Factor