Differential expression of osteocalcin during the metastatic progression of prostate cancer.
ABSTRACT Osteocalcin expression is restricted to osteoblasts and serum osteocalcin level is elevated in metastatic bone tumors including prostate tumors, which predominantly metastasizes to the bone and causes typical osteoblastic lesions. Previously, we have reported that osteocalcin RNA is widely expressed but incompletely spliced in the prostate including prostate tumors. Considering that many studies using osteocalcin-driven gene therapy have been conducted to treat hormone refractory metastatic tumors, detailed mechanisms controlling osteocalcin expression needs to be clarified. We aim to learn how osteocalcin expression is regulated during the metastatic process of prostate cancer. We applied assays of immunohistochemistry and RNA in situ hybridization in prostate tumors acquired from prostate (15) and metastatic sites, 13 from lymph node and 14 from bone. RT-PCR analysis in various cultured prostate cells was also performed. As predicted, osteocalcin RNA was highly expressed in most prostate epithelial cells of tumors, regardless of metastatic status of the tumor. However, osteocalcin protein was undetectable in tumors acquired from the primary site or lymph nodes whereas protein was highly expressed in the majority of bone-metastasized prostate tumors. RT-PCR analysis demonstrated that there was more completely spliced form of osteocalcin RNA present in bone-derived prostate cancer cells. Our data suggest that osteocalcin RNA was expressed but not completely spliced in non-bone environment, ultimately resulting in improper production of osteocalcin protein. This study explains why serum osteocalcin level is increased in patients with bone-metastasized prostate cancers. Yet, it remains to be clarified what regulates bone-specific osteocalcin RNA splicing in prostate tumors.
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ABSTRACT: Emerging evidence supports the hypothesis that the skeleton is an endocrine organ that regulates energy metabolism through the release of the osteoblast-derived hormone, osteocalcin (Ocn). This bone-pancreas endocrine network is controversial because important gaps remain to be filled in our knowledge of the physiological effects of Ocn in multiple organs and the complex alterations in other hormonal networks induced by Ocn administration. A key step toward understanding the integrative regulation of energy metabolism by bone is the identification of GPCR family C group 6 member A (GPRC6A) as the Ocn receptor. GPRC6A is an amino acid-sensing G protein-coupled receptor highly expressed in β-cells and is activated by recombinant Ocn in vitro and in vivo but that is widely expressed in tissues other than the pancreas and is capable of sensing multiple structurally unrelated ligands, including l-amino acids, cations, and anabolic steroids in addition to Ocn. The broad expression and multiligand specificity of GPRC6A is identifying both systemic and paracrine regulation of seemingly disparate biological processes, ranging from energy metabolism, sexual reproduction, hypothalamic-pituitary function, bone formation, and prostate cancer. Consistent with the existence of more complex endocrine networks, ablation of GPRC6A in Gprc6a(-/-) mice results in complex metabolic abnormalities, including obesity, glucose intolerance, hepatic steatosis, insulin resistance, hyperphosphatemia, osteopenia, plus several hormonal abnormalities, including decreased circulating testosterone, IGF-I, and insulin and increased estradiol, LH, GH, and leptin. Recombinant Ocn also regulates testosterone production by the testes and male fertility through a GPRC6A-dependent mechanism, and testosterone regulation of LH secretion is abnormal in Gprc6a(-/-) mice. Thus, GPRC6A, as the biologically relevant receptor for Ocn, defines not only a molecular mechanism for linking bone metabolism with metabolic regulation of β-cells and sexual reproduction but also as a receptor shared by testosterone and dietary factors, and it is also involved in multiple endocrine networks integrating the functions of pancreas, muscle, liver, fat, testes, bone, and the hypothalamic-pituitary axis with alterations in both environmental and endogenous ligands.Endocrinology 02/2012; 153(5):2062-9. · 4.72 Impact Factor