Ana B Fernández-Martínez

University of Alcalá, Cómpluto, Madrid, Spain

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Publications (18)57.64 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide (VIP) decreases cell proliferation through PI3K signalling and prevents tumour progression in clear renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Here we analysed the signalling pathways that mediate such VIP effects by using human RCC A498 cells. The effects of treatment with 1μM VIP and/or specific protein kinase inhibitors such as H89, Wortmannin and PD98059 were studied by cell adhesion assay, ELISA of VEGF165 and ROS production assays. Semiquantitative RT-PCR and western blot were performed to study p53 expression. VIP increased cell adhesion and ROS production, and decreased VEGF165 secretion through PI3K signalling. Moreover, VIP increased nuclear expression of tumour suppressor p53. VIP effects could be blocked by cell incubation with a specific p53 inhibitor, Cyclin Pifithrin-α hydrobromide (CPFT-αH). In conclusion, this study provides a p53-dependent mechanism by which VIP regulates cell proliferation in RCC development. It supports a potential usefulness of VIP in new therapies of RCC.
    The international journal of biochemistry & cell biology. 06/2014;
  • Ana B Fernández-Martínez, Francisco J Lucio Cazaña
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    ABSTRACT: The pharmacological modulation of putative renoprotective factors hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) and HIF-1α-regulated vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A) in the kidney has therapeutic interest. In human renal proximal tubular HK2 cells, prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) up-regulates HIF-1α and VEGF-A through epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-dependent up-regulation of retinoic acid receptor-β (RARβ). Here we studied the role of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) ERK1/2 and p38 and their target kinase, mitogen- and stress activated kinase-1 (MSK1), in the signaling cascade. Treatment of HK2 cells with PGE2 resulted in increased phosphorylation of EGFR, the three studied kinases and the histone H3 (Ser10) at the RARβ gene promoter (the latter has been proposed as a molecular signature of the activated RARβ gene promoter). Prevention of the phosphorylation of EGFR, ERK1/2, p38 MAPK or MSK1 is by incubating, respectively, with AG1478, PD98059, SB203580 or H89 allowed to elucidate the precise phosphorylation order in the signaling cascade triggered by PGE2: first, EGFR; then, ERK1/2 and p38 MAPK and, finally, MSK1. Phosphorylation of MSK1 led to that of Ser10 in histone H3 and to activation of RARβ gene transcription (and the consequent increase in the expression of HIF-1α and VEGF-A), which was suppressed by H89 or by transfecting cells with a vector encoding for a dominant-negative mutant of MSK1. These results highlight the relevance of MSK1 in the up-regulation of RARβ by PGE2. They also may contribute to new therapeutic approaches based upon the pharmacological control of HIF-1α/VEGF-A in the proximal tubule through the modulation of the PGE2/EGFR/MAPK/MSK1/RARβ pathway.
    Biochimica et biophysica acta. 06/2014; 1843(9):1997-2004.
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    ABSTRACT: Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) decreases cell proliferation through PI3K signalling and prevents tumour progression in clear renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Here we analyzed the signalling pathways that mediate such VIP effects by using human RCC A498 cells. The effects of treatment with 1 μM VIP and/or specific protein kinase inhibitors such as H89, Wortmannin and PD98059 were studied by cell adhesion assay, ELISA of VEGF165 and ROS production assays. Semiquantitative RT-PCR and western blot were performed to study p53 expression. VIP increased cell adhesion and ROS production, and decreased VEGF165 secretion through PI3K signalling. Moreover, VIP increased nuclear expression of tumour suppressor p53. VIP effects could be blocked by cell incubation with a specific p53 inhibitor, cyclin pifithrin-α hydrobromide (CPFT-αH). In conclusion, this study provides a p53-dependent mechanism by which VIP regulates cell proliferation in RCC development. It supports a potential usefulness of VIP in new therapies of RCC.
    The International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology. 01/2014; 53:295–301.
  • Ana B. Fernández-Martínez, Francisco J. Lucio Cazaña
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    ABSTRACT: The pharmacological modulation of putative renoprotective factors hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) and HIF-1α-regulated vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A) in the kidney has therapeutic interest. In human renal proximal tubular HK2 cells, prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) up-regulates HIF-1α and VEGF-A through epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-dependent up-regulation of retinoic acid receptor-β (RARβ). Here we studied the role of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) ERK1/2 and p38 and their target kinase, mitogen- and stress activated kinase-1 (MSK1), in the signaling cascade. Treatment of HK2 cells with PGE2 resulted in increased phosphorylation of EGFR, the three studied kinases and the histone H3 (Ser10) at the RARβ gene promoter (the later has been proposed as a molecular signature of the activated RARβ gene promoter). Prevention of the phosphorylation of EGFR, ERK1/2, p38 MAPK or MSK1 by incubation, respectively, with AG1478, PD98059, SB203580 or H89 allowed to elucidate the precise phosphorylation order in the signaling cascade triggered by PGE2: first, EGFR; then, ERK1/2 and p38 MAPK and, finally, MSK1. Phosphorylation of MSK1 led to that of Ser10 in histone H3 and to activation of RARβ gene transcription (and the consequent increase in the expression of HIF-1α and VEGF-A), which was suppressed by H89 or by transfecting cells with a vector encoding for a dominant-negative mutant of MSK1. These results highlight the relevance of MSK1 in the up-regulation of RARβ by PGE2. They also may contribute to new therapeutic approaches based upon the pharmacological control of HIF-1α/VEGF-A in the proximal tubule through the modulation of the PGE2/EGFR/MAPK/MSK1/RARβ pathway.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Molecular Cell Research 01/2014; · 4.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Microparticles are produced by vesiculation of the cell plasma membrane and serve as vectors of cell-to-cell communication. Co-culture experiments have shown that hypoxia-inducible factor-α (HIF-α)-regulated-genes are up-regulated in human renal proximal tubular HK-2 cells by endothelial cell factors which might be transported inside endothelial microparticles (EMP). Here we aimed to study in HK-2 cells the effect of EMP, produced by activated endothelial cells, on HIF-α and HIF-α-regulated vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A). EMP, at a concentration much lower than that found in plasma, increased the expression of HIF-α/VEGF-A in a COX-2/EP2 receptor dependent manner. Since the EMP/cells ratio was ∼1/1000, we hypothesized that paracrine mediators produced by HK-2 cells amplified the initial signal. This hypothesis was confirmed by two facts which also suggested that the mediators were conveyed by particles released by HK-2 cells: (i) HIF-α was up-regulated in HK-2 cells treated with the pellet obtained from the conditioned medium of the EMP-treated HK-2 cells. (ii) In transwell experiments, EMP-treated cells increased the expression of HIF-α in untreated HK-2 cells. Interestingly, we detected these cells, particles that were released by EMP-treated HK-2 cells. Depending on the pathological context, activation of HIF-α and VEGF-A signaling in renal tissue/cells may have either beneficial or harmful effects. Therefore, our results suggest that their presence in the urinary space of EMP produced by activated endothelial cells may influence the outcome of a number of renal diseases.
    The International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology. 01/2014; 53:334–342.
  • Ana B Fernández-Martínez, Francisco J Lucio
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    ABSTRACT: The pharmacological modulation of renoprotective factor vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A) in the proximal tubule has therapeutic interest. In human proximal tubular HK-2 cells, treatment with all-trans retinoic acid or prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) triggers the production of VEGF-A. The pathway involves an initial increase in intracellular PGE2, followed by activation of EP receptors (PGE2 receptors, most likely an intracellular subset) and increase in retinoic acid receptor-β (RARβ) expression. RARβ then up-regulates transcription factor hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α), which increases the transcription and production of VEGF-A. Here we studied the role in this pathway of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) transactivation by EP receptors. We found that EGFR inhibitor AG1478 prevented the increase in VEGF-A production induced by PGE2- and all-trans retinoic acid. This effect was due to the inhibition of the transcriptional up-regulation of RARβ, which resulted in loss of the RARβ-dependent transcriptional up-regulation of HIF-1α. PGE2 and all-trans retinoic acid also increased EGFR phosphorylation and this effect was sensitive to antagonists of EP receptors. The role of intracellular PGE2 was indicated by two facts; i) PGE2-induced EGFR phosphorylation was substantially prevented by inhibitor of prostaglandin uptake transporter bromocresol green and ii) all-trans retinoic acid treatment, which enhanced intracellular but not extracellular PGE2, had lower effect on EGFR phosphorylation upon pre-treatment with cyclooxygenase inhibitor diclofenac. Thus, EGFR transactivation by intracellular PGE2-activated EP receptors results in the sequential activation of RARβ and HIF-1α leading to increased production of VEGF-A and it may be a target for the therapeutic modulation of HIF-1α/VEGF-A.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 05/2013; · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have previously found in human renal proximal tubular HK-2 cells that hypoxia- and all-trans retinoic acid-induced hypoxia-inducible factor-1α up-regulation is accompanied by retinoic acid receptor-β up-regulation. Here we first investigated whether hypoxia-inducible factor-1α expression is dependent on retinoic acid receptor-β and our results confirmed it since (i) hypoxia-inducible factor-1α-inducing agents hypoxia, hypoxia-mimetic agent desferrioxamine, all-trans retinoic acid and interleukin-1β increased retinoic acid receptor-β expression, (ii) hypoxia-inducible factor-1α up-regulation was prevented by retinoic acid receptor-β antagonist LE-135 or siRNA retinoic acid receptor-β and (iii) there was direct binding of retinoic acid receptor-β to the retinoic acid response element in hypoxia-inducible factor-1α promoter upon treatment with all-trans retinoic acid and 16,16-dimethyl-prostaglandin E(2). Since intracellular prostaglandin E(2) mediates hypoxia-inducible factor-1α up-regulation in normoxia in HK-2 cells, we next investigated and confirmed, its role in the up-regulation of retinoic acid receptor-β in normoxia by hypoxia-inducible factor-1α-inducing agents all-trans retinoic acid, interleukin-1β and 16,16-dimethyl-prostaglandin E(2) by inhibiting cyclooxygenases, prostaglandin influx transporter or EP receptors. Interestingly, the hypoxia-induced increase in retinoic acid receptor-β expression and accumulation of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α was also blocked by the inhibitors tested. This is the first time, to our knowledge, that retinoic acid receptor-β signalling is involved in the control of the expression of transcription factor hypoxia-inducible factor-1α in both normoxia and hypoxia and that retinoic acid receptor-β expression is found to be strictly regulated by intracellular prostaglandin E(2). Given the relevance of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α in the kidney in terms of tumorigenesis, progressive renal failure, production of erythropoietin and protection in several models of renal disease, our results open new therapeutic opportunities on the control of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α based upon the pharmacological modulation of retinoic acid receptor-β, either directly or through the control of intracellular prostaglandin E(2) levels/signalling.
    The international journal of biochemistry & cell biology 08/2012; 44(12):2185-2193. · 4.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) is a potent inductor of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression in human prostate cancer cell lines. There are conflicting data regarding the role of COX-2 in the progression of this disease. Here we examined the expression of VIP receptors (VPAC1 and VPAC2) and COX-2 in prostate cancer specimens. Correlations among protein levels and various clinicopathological factors and prognosis of patients were statistically analyzed. For these purposes, formaldehyde-fixed, paraffin-embedded prostate tissue specimens from 63 patients with prostate cancer and 9 control samples were used. The expression of VPAC1 and VPAC2 receptors and COX-2 was analyzed at mRNA levels by quantitative reverse transcriptase-PCR. The corresponding expression at protein level was studied by immunohistochemistry, scored as negative, weak, moderate, or strong, and correlated with different clinicopathological factors by means of multivariate analysis. 88% of prostate cancer tissues overexpressed VPAC1-receptor at mRNA level, 72% VPAC2-receptor and 77% COX-2. Simultaneous overexpression of the three genes was seen in 52% of patients. Similar overexpression patterns were observed at protein level. The correlation between VPAC1 and VPAC2 receptor protein levels was statistically significant. However, no significant correlations existed among protein levels of VPAC receptors and COX-2 with patient age, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels, tumor stage, Gleason score and survival time. The overexpression of VPAC1 and VPAC2 receptors and COX-2 in cancer tissue gives them a potential role as targets for diagnosis of prostate cancer but results do not support a clear value as biomarkers for the clinical prognosis of this disease.
    Histology and histopathology 08/2012; 27(8):1093-101. · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: New approaches are needed to the therapy of advanced prostate cancer. This study determined the effect of growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) antagonists, JMR-132 and JV-1-38 on growth of PC3 tumors as well as on angiogenesis and metastasis through the evaluation of various factors that contribute largely to the progression of prostate cancer. Human PC3 androgen-independent prostate cancer cells were injected subcutaneously into nude mice. The treatment with JMR-132 (10 μg/day) or JV-1-38 (20 μg/day) lasted 41 days. We also evaluated the effects of JMR-132 and JV-1-38 on proliferation, cell adhesion and migration in PC-3 cells in vitro. Several techniques (Western blot, reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, immunohistochemistry, ELISA and zymography) were used to evaluate the expression levels of GHRH receptors and its splice variants, GHRH, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), hypoxia inducible factor (HIF)-1α, metalloproteinases (MMPs) -2 and -9, β-catenin and E-cadherin. GHRH antagonists suppressed the proliferation of PC-3 cells in vitro and significantly inhibited growth of PC3 tumors. After treatment with these analogues, we found an increase in expression of GHRH receptor accompanied by a decrease of GHRH levels, a reduction in both VEGF and HIF-1α expression and in active forms of MMP-2 and MMP-9, a significant increase in levels of membrane-associated β-catenin and a significant decline in E-cadherin. These results support that the blockade of GHRH receptors can modulate elements involved in angiogenesis and metastasis. Consequently, GHRH antagonists could be considered as suitable candidates for therapeutic trials in the management of androgen-independent prostate cancer.
    International Journal of Cancer 07/2012; · 6.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Clear renal cell carcinoma (cRCC) is an aggressive and fatal neoplasm. The present work was undertaken to investigate the antiproliferative potential of vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) exposure on non-tumoral (HK2) and tumoral (A498, cRCC) human proximal tubular epithelial cell lines. Reverse transcription and semiquantitative PCR was used at the VIP mRNA level whereas enzyme immunoanalysis was performed at the protein level. Both renal cell lines expressed VIP as well as VIP/pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating peptide (VPAC) receptors whereas only HK2 cells expressed formyl peptide receptor-like 1 (FPRL-1). Receptors were functional, as shown by VIP stimulation of adenylyl cyclase activity. Treatment with 0.1μM VIP (24h) inhibited proliferation of A498 but not HK2 cells as based on a reduction in the incorporation of [(3)H]-thymidine and BrdU (5'-Br-2'-deoxyuridine), PCNA (proliferating-cell nuclear antigen) expression and STAT3 (signal transducer and activator of transcription 3) expression and activation. VPAC(1)-receptor participation was established using JV-1-53 antagonist and siRNA transfection. Growth-inhibitory response to VIP was related to the cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)/exchange protein directly activated by cAMP (EPAC)/phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3-K) signaling systems as shown by studies on adenylate cyclase stimulation, and using the EPAC-specific compound 8CPT-2Me-cAMP and specific kinase inhibitors such as H89, wortmannin and PD98059. The efficacy of VIP on the prevention of tumor progression was confirmed in vivo using xenografted athymic mouse. These actions support a potential role of this peptide and its agonists in new therapies for cRCC.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Molecular Cell Research 06/2012; 1823(10):1676-85. · 4.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have previously shown in HK-2 cells that ATRA (all-trans-retinoic acid) up-regulates HIF-1α (hypoxia-inducible factor-1α) in normoxia, which results in increased production of renal protector VEGF-A (vascular endothelial growth factor-A). Here we investigated the role of COXs (cyclooxygenases) in these effects and we found that, i) ATRA increased the expression of COX-1 and COX-2 mRNA and protein and the intracellular levels (but not the extracellular ones) of PGE(2). Furthermore, inhibitors of COX isoenzymes blocked ATRA-induced increase in intracellular PGE(2), HIF-1α up-regulation and increased VEGF-A production. Immunofluorescence analysis found intracellular staining for EP1-4 receptors (PGE(2) receptors). These results indicated that COX activity is critical for ATRA-induced HIF-1α up-regulation and suggested that intracellular PGE(2) could mediate the effects of ATRA; ii) Treatment with PGE(2) analog 16,16-dimethyl-PGE(2) resulted in up-regulation of HIF-1α and antagonists of EP1-4 receptors inhibited 16,16-dimethyl-PGE(2)- and ATRA-induced HIF-1α up-regulation. These results confirmed that PGE(2) mediates the effects of ATRA on HIF-1α expression; iii) Prostaglandin uptake transporter inhibitor bromocresol green blocked the increase in HIF-1α expression induced by PGE(2) or by PGE(2)-increasing cytokine interleukin-1β, but not by ATRA. Therefore only intracellular PGE(2) is able to increase HIF-1α expression. In conclusion, intracellular PGE(2) increases HIF-1α expression and mediates ATRA-induced HIF-1α up-regulation.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 01/2012; 1821(4):672-83. · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) and all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) afford protection in several experimental models of kidney disease. HIF-1α protein is degraded under normoxia but stabilized by hypoxia, which activates its transcription factor function. ATRA activates another set of transcription factors, the retinoic acid receptors (RAR) α, β and γ, which mediate its effects on target genes. ATRA also up-regulates the expression of RAR α, β and γ at the transcriptional level. Here we demonstrate the presence of mutual regulation of hypoxic and retinoic acid related signalling in tubular proximal cells. In human proximal tubular HK-2 cells we have found that: (i) ATRA treatment induces HIF-1α under normoxic conditions and also synergizes with hypoxia leading to the over-expression of HIF-1α and vascular endothelial growth factor-A, a HIF-1α-regulated renal protector. ATRA-induced HIF-1α expression involved stabilization of HIF-1α mRNA but not of HIF-1α protein. (ii) Expression of HIF-1α is an absolute requirement for the transcriptional up-regulation of RARβ by ATRA. Transfection with HIF-1α siRNA abolished the induction by ATRA of the expression of both RARβ mRNA and protein while treatment with HIF-1α inhibitor YC-1 results in the abolishment of ATRA-induced activity of a retinoic acid-response element (RARE) construct from the RARβ promoter. (iii) Hypoxia up-regulates RARβ through HIF-1α since this effect was inhibited by HIF-1α knockdown. In contrast to ATRA-induced RARβ up-regulation, induction of RARβ expression by ATRA did not involve transcriptional up-regulation as hypoxia did not increase the expression of RARβ mRNA or the activity of the RARE construct. These results suggest the presence of crosstalk between hypoxia/HIF-1α and ATRA/RARβ that may be physiologically and pharmacologically relevant.
    The international journal of biochemistry & cell biology 08/2011; 43(8):1198-207. · 4.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The carcinogenic potential of vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) was analyzed in non-tumor human prostate epithelial cells (RWPE-1) and in vivo xenografts. VIP induced morphological changes and a migratory phenotype consistent with stimulation of expression/activity of metalloproteinases MMP-2 and MMP-9, decreased E-cadherin-mediated cell-cell adhesion, and increased cell motility. VIP increased cyclin D1 expression and cell proliferation that was blocked after VPAC(1)-receptor siRNA transfection. Similar effects were seen in RWPE-1 tumors developed by subcutaneous injection of VIP-treated cells in athymic nude mice. VIP acts as a cytokine in RWPE-1 cell transformation conceivably through epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), reinforcing VIP role in prostate tumorigenesis.
    Cancer letters 12/2010; 299(1):11-21. · 4.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and its receptors (VPACs) are involved in proliferation, survival, and differentiation in human breast cancer cells. Its mechanism of action is traditionally thought to be through specific plasma membrane receptors. There is compelling evidence for a novel intracrine mode of genomic regulation by G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) that implies both endocytosis and nuclear translocation of peripheral GPCR and/or the activation of nuclear-located GPCRs by endogenously-produced, non-secreted ligands. Regarding to VPAC receptors, which are GPCRs, there is only a report suggesting them as a dynamic system for signaling from plasma membrane and nuclear membrane complex. In this study, we show that VPAC(1) receptor is localized in cell nuclear fraction whereas VPAC(2) receptor presents an extranuclear localization and its protein expression is lower than that of VPAC(1) receptor in human breast tissue samples. Both receptors as well as VIP are overexpressed in breast cancer as compared to non-tumor tissue. Moreover, we report the markedly nuclear localization of VPAC(1) receptors in estrogen-dependent (T47D) and independent (MDA-MB-468) human breast cancer cell lines. VPAC(1) receptors are functional in plasma membrane and nucleus as shown by VIP stimulation of cAMP production in both cell lines. In addition, VIP increases its own intracellular and extracellular levels, and could be involved in the regulation of VPAC(1)-receptor traffic from the plasma membrane to the nucleus. These results support new concepts on function and regulation of nuclear GPCRs which could have an impact on development of new therapeutic drugs.
    Peptides 11/2010; 31(11):2035-45. · 2.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We used an in vivo model of human experimental prostate cancer in order to shed a new light on the effects of vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) on tumor growth as well as its pro-metastatic potential in this disease. We used nude mice subcutaneously injected with prostate cancer androgen-independent PC3 cells for 30 days. The regulatory role of VIP on cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression as well as on matrix metalloproteinase-2 and 9 (MMP-2 and 9) activities was examined. A selective COX-2 inhibitor, NS-398, and curcumin were used to block VIP effects. Xenografts of VIP-treated PC3 prostate cancer cells in nude mice gave tumors that grew significantly faster than those in the untreated group. It is conceivably a result of both the trophic effect of VIP on prostate cancer cells and the proangiogenic action of the neuropeptide in the growing tumor. We show the overexpression at mRNA and/or protein levels of VIP, its main receptor VPAC(1), the major angiogenic factor VEGF, and the pro-inflammatory enzyme COX-2 as well as the increased activity of MMP-2 and 9 in tumors derived from VIP-treated PC3 cells as compared with control group. The overexpression of the above biomarkers was suppressed in tumors derived from VIP-treated PC3 cells that had been previously incubated with curcumin or NS-398. Thus, the potential therapeutic role of curcumin and selective COX-2 inhibitors in combination with available VIP antagonists should be considered in prostate cancer therapy as supported by their inhibitory activities on tumor cell growth.
    Peptides 09/2009; 30(12):2357-64. · 2.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There is little known on the involvement of vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) in the metastatic cascade of human prostate cancer, that is, cell proliferation, cell-cell adhesion, extracellular-matrix degradation, and migration/invasion. Here we evaluated the expression of related biomarker proteins (cyclin D1, metalloproteinases MMP-2 and MMP-9, and E-cadherin) in human androgen-dependent (LNCaP) and independent (PC3) prostate cancer cells. Reverse transcriptase (RT)-polymerase chain reaction (PCR), gelatin zymography, Western blotting, confocal immunofluorescence microscopy, and assays on cell proliferation, adhesion, wound-healing, migration and random homing were performed. VIP increased cell proliferation and cyclin D1 expression whereas it decreased cell adhesion and E-cadherin expression in LNCaP and PC3 cells. VIP enhanced the gelatinolytic activity of MMP-2 and MMP-9. Semiquantitative RT-PCR assays showed that VIP stimulated mRNA levels of these MMPs and suppressed mRNA levels of its inhibitory protein RECK. VIP promoted cell invasion and migration, and the responses were faster according to the most aggressive status in cancer progression (androgen-independence). The involvement of nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) was demonstrated since the anti-inflammatory agent curcumin blocked VIP effects on the above biomarkers in both cell lines. Taken together, these results and the presence of kappaB sites on gene promoter of cyclin D1, MMPs and, possibly, E-cadherin suggest that VIP may act as a cytokine in an early metastatic stage of human prostate cancer through the NF-kappaB/MMPs-RECK/E-cadherin system. Our findings may help to define novel targets and agents with potential usefulness in prostate cancer therapy.
    The Prostate 03/2009; 69(7):774-86. · 3.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The effect of vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) on cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression was analyzed in human prostate non-neoplastic (RWPE-1) as well as cancer androgen-dependent (LNCaP) and independent (PC3) cells. The three cell lines expressed VIP mRNA and VIP peptide, as measured by RT-PCR and immunochemistry, which supports an autocrine/paracrine action of VIP in the prostate gland. VIP levels were progressively higher from non-neoplastic to androgen-dependent and independent cells. Real-time RT-PCR and Western-blotting showed that VIP stimulated both COX-2 mRNA and protein expression in a faster manner as prostate cancer stage progressed (i.e. RWPE1<LNCaP<PC3 cells). Furthermore, VIP induced higher levels of COX-2 protein expression in cancer cells as compared with non-neoplastic cells. The anti-inflammatory agent curcumin blocked VIP-induced COX-2 expression in all cell lines studied supporting the involvement of nuclear factor-kappaB (NFkappaB) in such a response. In fact, VIP increased the translocation of the NFkappaB p50 subunit to the nucleus and the binding of the active form to its target gene promoter, as measured by Western-blotting and ELISA, respectively. VIP provoked faster responses according to the most aggressive status in cancer progression (androgen-independent situation). These results together with the existence of two NFkappaB sites in the COX-2 gene promoter together suggest that COX-2 may be a target for VIP in prostate cancer progression. On the other hand, VIP could be a proinflammatory cytokine acting through the NFkappaB/COX-2 system.
    Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 05/2007; 270(1-2):8-16. · 4.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) functions as a mitogenic agent in the human prostate gland acting by autocrine/paracrine mechanisms. Here we extend knowledge on the VIP system (expression of VIP and VIP receptors, functionality of VIP receptors) at this level by analyzing the differences between human normal prostate and prostate carcinoma specimens. RT-PCR showed the expression of mRNA for VIP in normal and malignant tissues, whereas VIP levels, as measured by enzyme immuno-analysis, were about two times higher in adenocarcinoma samples. Real-time RT-PCR indicated a minor expression of VPAC2 receptors in the prostate gland, as well as the overexpression of VPAC1 and PAC1 receptors in malignant tissue specimens. Radio-labeled binding experiments with [125I]VIP showed an increased number of VIP binding sites (2.5 times for the high- and 1.7 times for the low-affinity sites) during malignant transformation, whereas the affinity values were unaffected. The receptors were functional in control and cancer tissues as shown by the ability of increasing VIP doses to stimulate adenylate cyclase activity. Interestingly, JV-1-53 (a GHRH-related peptide analog) (at 0.1 microM) behaved as a potent VIP antagonist since it inhibited by 60% the maximal VIP effect upon the enzyme activity. The results further explain the mechanisms of the autocrine/paracrine actions of VIP in human prostate and prostatic carcinoma through the observation of differences between healthy tissue and malignant transformation. Moreover, present data support the potential usefulness of VIP and/or synthetic peptide analogs for diagnostic or radiotherapeutic purposes as well as for long-term peptide therapy in this malignancy.
    International Journal of Oncology 07/2005; 26(6):1629-35. · 2.66 Impact Factor