Growth and differentiation factor-9 promotes adhesive and motile capacity of prostate cancer cells by up-regulating FAK and Paxillin via Smad dependent pathway.
ABSTRACT The majority of advanced prostate cancers metastasis to the bone. Mediators of bone remodelling, the bone morphogenetic proteins have extensively been implicated in the progression and metastasis of prostate cancer. The present study investigated the function of BMP member GDF-9, in prostate cancer. We overexpressed GDF9 in PC-3 cells using a mammalian expression construct, and knocked-down with the use of ribozyme transgenes. These cells were further used in in vitro adhesion and motility assays, in order to determine the effect of GDF-9 on these properties. Recombinant GDF-9 was generated to treat PC-3 WT cells before further analysing the effect on adhesion. The GDF-9 overexpressing PC-3 cells demonstrated a significantly enhanced adhesive and motile capacity compared to their controls. The opposite effect was seen in the GDF-9 knock-down cells. In addition, treating PC-3 cells with rh-GDF-9 resulted in them becoming more adhesive. Both endogenous and exogenous GDF-9 was demonstrated to up-regulate focal adhesion associated proteins FAK and paxillin which contribute to promoted cell adhesion and motility. With the use of a Smad3 inhibitor, this effect was inhibited suggesting that GDF-9 signals via Smad3 to up-regulate expression of these proteins. This study shows that GDF-9 can promote the motile and adhesive capacity of PC-3 prostate cancer cells by up-regulating expression of FAK and paxillin in a Smad dependent manner, suggesting a pro-tumourigenic role for GDF-9 in prostate cancer.