Many metastatic cancers recapitulate the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) resulting in enhanced cell motility and invasiveness. The EMT is regulated by several transcription factors, including the zinc finger protein SNAI2, also named Slug, which appears to exert additional functions during development and cancer progression. We have studied the function of SNAI2 in prostate cancer cells. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis showed strong SNAI2 expression particularly in the PC-3 and PC3-16 prostate carcinoma cell lines. Knockdown of SNAI2 by specific siRNA induced changes in EMT markers and inhibited invasion of both cell lines into a matrigel matrix. SNAI2 siRNA-treated cells did not tolerate detachment from the culture plates, likely at least in part due to downregulation of integrin alpha6beta4. SNAI2 knockdown disturbed the microtubular and actin cytoskeletons, especially severely in PC-3 cells, resulting in grossly enlarged, flattened, and sometimes multinuclear cells. Knockdown also decreased cell proliferation, with a prominent G0/G1 arrest in PC3-16. Together, our data imply that SNAI2 exerts strong effects on the cytoskeleton and adhesion of those prostate cancer cells that express it and is necessary for their proliferation and invasiveness.
"Several strides have been carried out to identify the factors contributing to EMT in PCa. Transforming growth factor beta (Zhu & Kyprianou 2010), nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide-dependent histone deacetylase or SIRT1 (Byles et al. 2012), platelet-derived growth factor (Kong et al. 2009), TMPRSS2/ERG (Leshem et al. 2011), SNAI2 (SLUG) (Emadi Baygi et al. 2010), DAB2IP (Xie et al. 2010), Hsp27 (HSPB1) (Shiota et al. 2013), and miRNAs (Ru et al. 2012) have all been identified as EMT regulators in PCa. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Zinc finger E-box-binding protein 2 (ZEB2) is known to help mediate the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, and thereby it facilitates cancer metastasis. This study was initiated to explore whether ZEB2 expression differs in prostate cancer (PCa, n=7) and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH, n=7) tissues. In PCa tissues, the levels of both immunoreactive ZEB2 and androgen receptor (AR) were found to be significantly higher (P<0.05) when compared with BPH tissues. Co-regulation of AR and ZEB2 prompted us to investigate the role of androgenic stimuli in ZEB2 expression. ZEB2 expression was found to be significantly (P<0.05) upregulated after androgen stimulation and downregulated following AR silencing in LNCaP cells, an androgen-dependent PCa cell line. This finding suggested AR as a positive regulator of ZEB2 expression in androgen-dependent cells. Paradoxically, androgen-independent (AI) cell lines PC3 and DU145, known to possess low AR levels, showed significantly (P<0.05) higher expression of ZEB2 compared with LNCaP cells. Furthermore, forced expression of AR in PC3 (PC3-AR) and DU145 (DU-AR) cells led to reductions in ZEB2 expression, invasiveness, and migration. These cells also exhibited an increase in the levels of E-cadherin (a transcriptional target of ZEB2). Co-transfection of AR and ZEB2 cDNA constructs prevented the decline in invasiveness and migration to a significant extent. Additionally, ZEB2 downregulation was associated with an increase in miR200a/miR200b levels in PC3-AR cells and with a decrease in miR200a/miR200b levels in AR-silenced LNCaP cells. Thus, AR acts as a positive regulator of ZEB2 expression in androgen-dependent cells and as a negative regulator in AI PCa cells.
Endocrine Related Cancer 04/2014; 21(3):473-86. DOI:10.1530/ERC-13-0514 · 4.81 Impact Factor
"Snail proteins, together with other core EMT/neural crest regulatory factors, are implicated in epithelial plasticity and EMT-like processes during tumor progression , . Snai1 expression, and features of EMT have been observed in breast, prostate, lung, ovarian, melanoma, colon and esophageal cancers , , , , , , . Introduction of Snail factors into epithelial tumors results in cells that can disseminate from the primary tumor, are resistant to apoptosis, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, evade immune recognition, and exhibit markers of stem cells , , , . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Snail family proteins are core EMT (epithelial-mesenchymal transition) regulatory factors that play essential roles in both development and disease processes and have been associated with metastasis in carcinomas. Snail factors are required for the formation of neural crest stem cells in most vertebrate embryos, as well as for the migratory invasive behavior of these cells. Snail factors have recently been linked to the formation of cancer stem cells, and expression of Snail proteins may be associated with tumor recurrence and resistance to chemotherapy and radiotherapy. We report that Co(III)-Ebox is a potent inhibitor of Snail-mediated transcriptional repression in breast cancer cells and in the neural crest of Xenopus. We further show that the activity of Co(III)-Ebox can be modulated by temperature, increasing the utility of this conjugate as a Snail inhibitor in model organisms. We exploit this feature to further delineate the requirements for Snail function during neural crest development, showing that in addition to the roles that Snail factors play in neural crest precursor formation and neural crest EMT/migration, inhibition of Snail function after the onset of neural crest migration leads to a loss of neural crest derived melanocytes. Co(III)-Ebox-mediated inhibition therefore provides a powerful tool for analysing the function of these core EMT factors with unparalleled temporal resolution. Moreover, the potency of Co(III)-Ebox as a Snail inhibitor in breast cancer cells suggests its potential as a therapeutic inhibitor of tumor progression and metastasis.
PLoS ONE 02/2012; 7(2):e32318. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0032318 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prostate cancer that has progressed to metastatic disease remains largely untreatable. Nearly 90% of patients with advanced prostate cancer develop skeletal metastases, resulting in a substantial reduction in the quality of life and a drastic worsening of patient prognosis. The mechanisms involved in prostate cancer cell dissemination, however, remain poorly understood. We previously reported the identification of a highly tumorigenic E-cadherin positive prostate tumor stem cell subpopulation that expressed the embryonic stem cell markers SOX2 and OCT3/4. We herein demonstrate that this subpopulation is also highly invasive and, importantly, is capable of altering its E-cadherin expression during the process of invasion. The non-tumorigenic E-cadherin negative subpopulation which minimally expresses SOX2 or OCT3/4 was found to be poorly invasive. In addition, targeted knockdown of SOX2 or OCT3/4 markedly suppressed the invasion of prostate cancer cells. Taken together, these findings indicate that the expression of SOX2 or OCT3/4 is required for invasive cell capacity, but the ability to modulate E-cadherin is the key permissive factor enabling cancer stem cell invasion in vitro. We therefore propose a model in which the post-epithelial to mesenchymal transition phenotype progresses to a frank, aggressive, and invasive phenotype by a process requiring the acquisition of E-cadherin plasticity. Considering the clinical significance of the metastatic complications of prostate adenocarcinoma, the identification of factors that promote the dissemination of the malignant prostate phenotype is essential to establish effective therapies to combat this disease in future.
American Journal of Cancer Research 01/2011; 1(1):71-84. · 4.17 Impact Factor
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