Valerie A Odero-Marah

Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, Georgia, United States

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Publications (26)78.36 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Snail transcription factor can induce epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), associated with decreased cell adhesion-associated molecules like E-cadherin, increased mesenchymal markers like vimentin, leading to increased motility, invasion and metastasis. Muscadine grape skin extract (MSKE) has been shown to inhibit prostate cancer cell growth and induce apoptosis without affecting normal prostate epithelial cells. We investigated novel molecular mechanisms by which Snail promotes EMT in prostate cancer cells via Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) and whether it can be antagonized by MSKE. ARCaP and LNCaP cells overexpressing Snail were utilized to examine levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), specifically, superoxide, in vitro using Dihydroethidium (DHE) or HydroCy3 dyes. Mitosox staining was performed to determine whether the source of ROS was mitochondrial in origin. We also investigated the effect of Muscadine grape skin extract (MSKE) on EMT marker expression by western blot analysis. Migration and cell viability using MTS proliferation assay was performed following MSKE treatments. Snail overexpression in ARCaP and LNCaP cells was associated with increased concentration of mitochondrial superoxide, in vitro. Interestingly, MSKE decreased superoxide levels in ARCaP and LNCaP cells. Additionally, MSKE and Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) reverted EMT as evidenced by decreased vimentin levels and re-induction of E-cadherin expression in ARCaP-Snail cells after 3 days, concomitant with reduced cell migration. MSKE also decreased Stat-3 activity in ARCaP-Snail cells. This study shows that superoxide species may play a role in Snail transcription factor-mediated EMT. Therefore, therapeutic targeting of Snail with various antioxidants such as MSKE may prove beneficial in abrogating EMT and ROS-mediated tumor progression in human prostate cancer.
    BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 03/2014; 14(1):97. · 2.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Metastatic prostate cancer (mPCa) relapses after a short period of androgen deprivation therapy and becomes the castration-resistant prostate cancer (CR PCa); to which the treatment is limited. Hence, it is imperative to identify novel therapeutic agents towards this patient population. In the present study, antiproliferative activities of novel imidazopyridines were compared. Among three derivatives, PHE, AMD and AMN, examined, AMD showed the highest inhibitory activity on LNCaP C-81 cell proliferation, following dose- and time-dependent manner. Additionally, AMD exhibited significant antiproliferative effect against a panel of PCa cells, but not normal prostate epithelial cells. Further, when compared to AMD, its derivative DME showed higher inhibitory activities on PCa cell proliferation, clonogenic potential and in vitro tumorigenicity. The inhibitory activity was apparently in part due to the induction of apoptosis. Mechanistic studies indicate that AMD and DME treatments inhibited both AR and PI3K/Akt signaling. The results suggest that better understanding of inhibitory mechanisms of AMD and DME could help design novel therapeutic agents for improving the treatment of CR PCa.
    Cancer Letters. 01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Snail transcription factor is up-regulated in several cancers and associated with increased tumor migration and invasion via induction of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). MAPK (ERK1/2) signaling regulates cellular processes including cell motility, adhesion, and invasion. We investigated the regulation of ERK1/2 by Snail in breast cancer cells. ERK1/2 activity (p-ERK) was higher in breast cancer patient tissue as compared to normal tissue. Snail and p-ERK were increased in several breast cancer cell lines as compared to normal mammary epithelial cells. Snail knockdown in MDA-MB-231 and T47-D breast cancer cells decreased or re-localized p-ERK from the nuclear compartment to the cytoplasm. Snail overexpression in MCF-7 breast cancer cells induced EMT, increased cell migration, decreased cell adhesion and also increased tumorigenicity. Snail induced nuclear translocation of p-ERK, and the activation of its subcellular downstream effector, Elk-1. Inhibiting MAPK activity with UO126 or knockdown of ERK2 isoform with siRNA in MCF-7 Snail cells reverted EMT induced by Snail as shown by decreased Snail and vimentin expression, decreased cell migration and increased cell adhesion. Overall, our data suggest that ERK2 isoform activation by Snail in aggressive breast cancer cells leads to EMT associated with increased cell migration and decreased cell adhesion. This regulation is enhanced by positive feedback regulation of Snail by ERK2. Therefore, therapeutic targeting of ERK2 isoform may be beneficial for breast cancer.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(8):e104987. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Camalexin, the phytoalexin produced in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, possesses antiproliferative and cancer chemopreventive effects. We have demonstrated that the cytostatic/cytotoxic effects of camalexin on several prostate cancer (PCa) cells are due to oxidative stress. Lysosomes are vulnerable organelles to Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS)-induced injuries, with the potential to initiate and or facilitate apoptosis subsequent to release of proteases such as cathepsin D (CD) into the cytosol. We therefore hypothesized that camalexin reduces cell viability in PCa cells via alterations in expression and activity of CD. Cell viability was evaluated by MTS cell proliferation assay in LNCaP and ARCaP Epithelial (E) cells, and their respective aggressive sublines C4-2 and ARCaP Mesenchymal (M) cells, whereby the more aggressive PCa cells (C4-2 and ARCaPM) displayed greater sensitivity to camalexin treatments than the lesser aggressive cells (LNCaP and ARCaPE). Immunocytochemical analysis revealed CD relocalization from the lysosome to the cytosol subsequent to camalexin treatments, which was associated with increased protein expression of mature CD; p53, a transcriptional activator of CD; BAX, a downstream effector of CD, and cleaved PARP, a hallmark for apoptosis. Therefore, camalexin reduces cell viability via CD and may present as a novel therapeutic agent for treatment of metastatic prostate cancer cells.
    Molecules 01/2014; 19(4):3988-4005. · 2.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are implicated in many human diseases, including cancer. We have previously demonstrated that ROS increased the expression and activity of the chemokine receptor, CXCR4, which enhanced metastatic functions in prostate cancer cells. Studies have also revealed that CXCR4 and its ligand, SDF-1α, promoted ROS accumulation; however the source of ROS was not investigated. Recent evidence suggested that ROS accumulation in prostate cancer cell lines was contributed by the NADPH oxidase (NOX) family of enzymes. Herein, we sought to determine whether the CXCR4/SDF-1α signaling axis mediates ROS production through NOX in prostate cancer. We observed an increase in intracellular ROS generation in prostate cancer cells upon SDF-1α stimulation compared to untreated samples. Conversely, lower levels of ROS were detected in cells treated with AMD3100 (CXCR4 antagonist) or the ROS scavenger, N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC). Markedly reduced levels of ROS were observed in cells treated with apocynin (NOX inhibitor) compared to rotenone (mitochondrial complex I inhibitor)-treated cells. Specifically, we determined that NOX2 responded to, and was regulated by, the SDF-1α/CXCR4 signaling axis. Moreover, chemical inhibition of the ERK1/2 and PI3K pathways revealed that PI3K/AKT signaling participated in CXCR4-mediated NOX activity, and that these collective signaling events resulted in enhanced cell movement towards a chemoattractant. Finally, NOX2 may be a potential therapeutic target, as Oncomine microarray database analysis of normal prostate, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) tissue samples determined a correlation between NOX2 expression and prostate cancer. Taken together, these results suggest that CXCR4/SDF-1α-mediated ROS production through NOX2 enzymes may be an emerging concept by which chemokine signaling progresses tumorigenesis.
    Cancer Microenvironment 09/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: Reactive oxygen species (ROS) play a central role in oxidative stress, which leads to the onset of diseases, such as cancer. Furthermore, ROS contributes to the delicate balance between tumor cell survival and death. However, the mechanisms by which tumor cells decide to elicit survival or death signals during oxidative stress are not completely understood. We have previously reported that ROS enhanced tumorigenic functions in prostate cancer cells, such as transendothelial migration and invasion, which depended on CXCR4 and AKT signaling. Here, we report a novel mechanism by which ROS facilitated cell death through activation of AKT. We initially observed that ROS enhanced the expression of phosphorylated AKT (p-AKT) in 22Rv1 human prostate cancer cells. The tumor suppressor PTEN, a negative regulator of AKT signaling, was rendered catalytically inactive through oxidation by ROS, although the expression levels remained consistent. Despite these events, cells still underwent apoptosis. Further investigation into apoptosis revealed that expression of the tumor suppressor pVHL increased, and contains a target site for p-AKT phosphorylation. pVHL and p-AKT associated in vitro, and knockdown of pVHL rescued HIF1α expression and the cells from apoptosis. Collectively, our study suggests that in the context of oxidative stress, p-AKT facilitated apoptosis by inducing pVHL function.
    Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry 01/2013; · 2.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Camalexin is a phytoalexin that accumulates in various cruciferous plants upon exposure to environmental stress and plant pathogens. Besides moderate antibacterial and antifungal activity, camalexin was reported to also exhibit antiproliferative and cancer chemopreventive effects in breast cancer and leukemia. We studied the cytotoxic effects of camalexin treatment on prostate cancer cell lines and whether this was mediated by reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. As models, we utilized LNCaP and its aggressive subline, C4-2, as well as ARCaP cells stably transfected with empty vector (Neo) control or constitutively active Snail cDNA that represents an epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) model and displays increased cell migration and tumorigenicity. We confirmed previous studies showing that C4-2 and ARCaP-Snail cells express more ROS than LNCaP and ARCaP-Neo, respectively. Camalexin increased ROS, decreased cell proliferation, and increased apoptosis more significantly in C4-2 and ARCaP-Snail cells as compared to LNCaP and ARCaP-Neo cells, respectively, while normal prostate epithelial cells (PrEC) were unaffected. Increased caspase-3/7 activity and increased cleaved PARP protein shown by Western blot analysis was suggestive of increased apoptosis. The ROS scavenger N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) antagonized the effects of camalexin, whereas the addition of exogenous hydrogen peroxide potentiated the effects of camalexin, showing that camalexin is mediating its effects through ROS. In conclusion, camalexin is more potent in aggressive prostate cancer cells that express high ROS levels, and this phytoalexin has a strong potential as a novel therapeutic agent for the treatment of especially metastatic prostate cancer.
    Journal of Natural Medicines 11/2012; · 1.52 Impact Factor
  • Bethany N Smith, Valerie A Odero-Marah
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    ABSTRACT: Prostate cancer is the second most frequently diagnosed cancer and the sixth leading cause of death from cancer in men. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a process by which cancer cells invade and migrate, and is characterized by loss of cell-cell adhesion molecules such as E-cadherin and increased expression of mesenchymal proteins such as vimentin; EMT is also associated with resistance to therapy. Snail, a master regulator of EMT, has been extensively studied and reported in cancers such as breast and colon, however, its role in prostate cancer is not as widely reported. The purpose of this review is to put together recent facts that summarize Snail signaling in human prostate cancer. Snail is overexpressed in prostate cancer and its expression and activity is controlled via phosphorylation and growth factor signaling. Snail is involved in its canonical role of inducing EMT in prostate cancer cells; however, it plays a role in non-canonical pathways that do not involve EMT such regulation of bone turnover and neuroendocrine differentiation. Thus, studies indicate that Snail signaling contributes to prostate cancer progression and metastasis and therapeutic targeting of Snail in prostate cancer holds promise in future.
    Cell adhesion & migration 09/2012; 6(5). · 2.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Maspin, a putative tumor suppressor that is down-regulated in breast and prostate cancer, has been associated with decreased cell motility. Snail transcription factor is a zinc finger protein that is increased in breast cancer and is associated with increased tumor motility and invasion by induction of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). We investigated the molecular mechanisms by which Snail increases tumor motility and invasion utilizing prostate cancer cells. Expression levels were analyzed by RT-PCR and western blot analyses. Cell motility and invasion assays were performed, while Snail regulation and binding to maspin promoter was analyzed by luciferase reporter and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays. Snail protein expression was higher in different prostate cancer cells lines as compared to normal prostate epithelial cells, which correlated inversely with maspin expression. Snail overexpression in 22Rv1 prostate cancer cells inhibited maspin expression and led to increased migration and invasion. Knockdown of Snail in DU145 and C4-2 cancer cells resulted in up-regulation of maspin expression, concomitant with decreased migration. Transfection of Snail into 22Rv1 or LNCaP cells inhibited maspin promoter activity, while stable knockdown of Snail in C4-2 cells increased promoter activity. ChIP analysis showed that Snail is recruited to the maspin promoter in 22Rv1 cells. Overall, this is the first report showing that Snail can negatively regulate maspin expression by directly repressing maspin promoter activity, leading to increased cell migration and invasion. Therefore, therapeutic targeting of Snail may be useful to re-induce expression of maspin tumor suppressor and prevent prostate cancer tumor progression.
    BMC Cancer 08/2012; 12:336. · 3.33 Impact Factor
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    Corey L Neal, Danielle Mckeithen, Valerie A Odero-Marah
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    ABSTRACT: Snail transcription factor induces epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in which the epithelial cells downregulate cell-cell adhesion genes such as E-Cadherin and upregulate mesenchymal genes such as vimentin, leading to increased invasion and migration. Very little is known about the role of Snail in cellular adhesion to the extracellular matrix. We hypothesized that Snail will lead to decreased cellular adhesion to fibronectin and collagen I matrix through integrin regulation, concomitant with increased cell migration. Androgen-independent C4-2 cells, an aggressive subline of androgen-dependent LNCaP cells, exhibited decreased cell adhesion and increased cell migration on fibronectin and collagen I as compared to LNCaP cells, which was reversed by Snail knock down in C4-2 cells. ARCaP and LNCaP prostate cancer cells stably transfected with Snail displayed decreased adhesion and increased cell migration on fibronectin and collagen I as compared to control Neo-transfected cells, which was reversed by Snail knockdown. Flow cytometry analysis revealed a decrease in a5, a2 and b1 integrin expression in ARCaP Snail-transfected cells that was reversed in Snail knock down cells. We also observed an increase in ERK phosphorylation in ARCaP Snail-transfected cells as compared to control ARCaP-Neo cells, and inhibition of the MAPK pathway with UO126 inhibitor in ARCaP Snail-transfected cells abrogated Snail-mediated decrease in cell adhesion and reinduced a5, a2 and b1 integrin expression. Collectively, these studies define a new role for Snail transcription factor in cell adhesion to the ECM, which may be mediated by MAPK signaling, and may be crucial for cell detachment and subsequent metastasis.
    Cell adhesion & migration 05/2011; 5(3):249-57. · 2.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Reactive oxygen species increases in various diseases including cancer and has been associated with induction of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), as evidenced by decrease in cell adhesion-associated molecules like E-cadherin, and increase in mesenchymal markers like vimentin. We investigated the molecular mechanisms by which Snail transcription factor, an inducer of EMT, promotes tumor aggressiveness utilizing ARCaP prostate cancer cell line. An EMT model created by Snail overexpression in ARCaP cells was associated with decreased E-cadherin and increased vimentin. Moreover, Snail-expressing cells displayed increased concentration of reactive oxygen species (ROS), specifically, superoxide and hydrogen peroxide, in vitro and in vivo. Real Time PCR profiling demonstrated increased expression of oxidative stress-responsive genes, such as aldehyde oxidase I, in response to Snail. The ROS scavenger, N-acetyl cysteine partially reversed Snail-mediated EMT after 7 days characterized by increased E-cadherin levels and decreased ERK activity, while treatment with the MEK inhibitor, UO126, resulted in a more marked effect by 3 days, characterized by cells returning back to the epithelial morphology and increased E-cadherin. In conclusion, this study shows for the first time that Snail transcription factor can regulate oxidative stress enzymes and increase ROS-mediated EMT regulated in part by ERK activation. Therefore, Snail may be an attractive molecule for therapeutic targeting to prevent tumor progression in human prostate cancer.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 01/2011; 404(1):34-9. · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Loss of PTEN is frequently observed in androgen-independent prostate cancer, resulting in the deregulation of metastatic events. SDF1α activation of CXCR4 induces signaling pathways that have been implicated in prostate metastasis and progression to an advanced disease. The pathways of CXCR4 and PTEN converge, leading to the promotion and regulation of tumorigenesis, respectively. However, loss of PTEN may permit CXCR4 to progress prostate cancer to an advanced disease. In the present study, we investigated the involvement of PTEN in CXCR4-mediated tumorigenesis. When screening advanced metastatic prostate cancer cell lines for PTEN, we observed a loss of expression in PC3 and LNCaP cells whereas Du145 expressed wild-type PTEN. All three cell lines were positive for surface expression of CXCR4. Reconsitution of PTEN induced a mesenchymal to epithelial like morphologic change and inhibited CXCR4-mediated migration and proliferation in PC3 cells. Downregulation of PTEN by siRNA enhanced the CXCR4-mediated migratory behavior of Du145 cells. By Western blot analysis, we observed that PTEN inhibited basal AKT phosphorylation but not ERK1/2 phosphorylation in PTEN-expressing cells. Upon CXCR4 stimulation, PTEN inhibited ERK1/2 phosphorylation but not phosphorylation of AKT. The CXCR4-mediated migration of PC3 cells was through the ERK1/2 pathway, as confirmed by chemical inhibitors. On the basis of these studies, we suggest that loss of PTEN permits CXCR4-mediated functions in prostate cancer cells through the ERK1/2 pathway. Antagonizing CXCR4 and downstream signaling cascades may provide an efficient approach for treating patients with advanced prostate cancer when hormone therapy fails to the stop the growth and containment of tumors.
    Molecular Cancer Research 11/2010; 9(1):90-102. · 4.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Snail transcription factor induces epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) via decreased cell adhesion-associated molecules like E-cadherin, and increased mesenchymal markers like vimentin. We previously established Snail-mediated EMT model utilizing androgen-dependent LNCaP cells. These cells express increased vimentin protein and relocalization of E-cadherin from the cell membrane to the cytosol. Interestingly, Snail transfection in LNCaP cells resulted in cells acquiring a neuroendocrine (NE)-like morphology with long neurite-like processes. We tested for expression of NE markers neuron-specific enolase (NSE) and chromogranin A (CgA) by Western blot analysis, and performed proliferation assays to test for paracrine cell proliferation. LNCaP cells transfected with Snail displayed increase in the NE markers, NSE and CgA as well as translocation of androgen receptor (AR) to the nucleus. LNCaP C-33 cells that have been previously published as a neuroendocrine differentiation (NED) model exhibited increased expression levels of Snail protein as compared to LNCaP parental cells. Functionally, conditioned medium from the LNCaP-Snail transfected cells increased proliferation of parental LNCaP and PC-3 cells, which could be abrogated by NSE/CgA siRNA. Additionally, NED in LNCaP-C33 cells or that induced in parental LNCaP cells by serum starvation could be inhibited by knockdown of Snail with siRNA. Overall our data provide evidence that Snail transcription factor may promote tumor aggressiveness in the LNCaP cells through multiple processes; induction of EMT may be required to promote migration, while NED may promote tumor proliferation by a paracrine mechanism. Therefore, therapeutic targeting of Snail may prove beneficial in not only abrogating EMT but also NED.
    The Prostate 02/2010; 70(9):982-92. · 3.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Zinc-finger enhancer binding protein (ZEB1) is a transcription factor involved in the progression of cancer primarily through promoting epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT). ZEB1 represses the expression of E-cadherin by binding to E-box sequences in the promoter, thus decreasing epithelial differentiation. We show that ZEB1 and androgen receptor (AR) cross-talk in triple negative breast cancer cell lines. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis demonstrates that ZEB1 binds directly to the E-box located in the AR promoter. ZEB1 suppression by stably transfecting shRNA in a triple negative breast cancer cell line resulted in a decrease of AR mRNA, protein, and AR downstream targets. ZEB1 knockdown in triple negative breast cancer cells sensitized the cells to bicalutamide by reducing migration compared to the control cells. Conversely, blockade of AR signaling with bicalutamide resulted in a suppression of ZEB1 protein expression in two triple negative breast cancer cell lines. Furthermore, using a breast cancer tissue microarray, a majority of triple negative breast cancers exhibit positive staining for both ZEB1 and AR. Taken together, these results indicate that ZEB1 and AR regulate each other to promote cell migration in triple negative breast cancer cells.
    Breast Cancer Research and Treatment 11/2009; 123(1):139-47. · 4.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) exert osteoinductive effects in prostate cancer (PC) via uncharacterized mechanisms. In this study, we investigated whether the nuclear transcription factor NF-kappaB, implicated in PC metastasis, is involved in transcriptional regulation and activation of BMP-2 or BMP-4/Smad signaling in PC cells. NF-kappaB inhibition was achieved by IkappaBalpha super-repressor adenoviral vector and activation was monitored by EMSA and reporter assays. BMP expression and activation was measured by PCR and reporter assays. Promoter binding assay was performed by chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay. Smad1/5/8 phosphorylation was measured by Western blot analysis. PCR and chimeric BMP-2 and BMP-4 luciferase assays demonstrate that NF-kappaB confers robust and selective activation of BMP-2 in p65 overexpressing or rhTNF-alpha-stimulated PC cells. Inhibition of NF-kappaB significantly reduced transcript levels and autocrine production of BMP-2 by rhTNF-alpha stimulated C4-2B cells and to a lesser extent by the parental LNCaP cells. Selective inhibition of PI3K/Akt suppressed the NF-kappaB-induced BMP-2 promoter activity. Furthermore, suppression of NF-kappaB activation decreased the transcript levels and BMP-2-induced phosphorylation of Smad1/5/8, critical downstream targets of BMP-2 signaling in PC cells. Notably, the activation of BMPRII by BMP-2 is required for modulation of Smad activation by NF-kappaB in PC cells. Based on ChIP analysis, the transcriptional regulation of BMP-2 gene by NF-kappaB may be partially attributed to binding to kappab site on the BMP-2 promoter. The data suggest that PI3K/Akt-NF-kappaB axis may promote PC bone metastasis in part by regulating transcription and activation of the BMP-2-Smad signaling cascade in osteotropic PC cells.
    The Prostate 11/2008; 69(2):168-80. · 3.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in cancer describes the phenotypic and behavioral changes of cancer cells from indolent to virulent forms with increased migratory, invasive and metastatic potential. EMT can be induced by soluble proteins like transforming growth factor beta1 (TGFbeta1) and transcription factors including Snail and Slug. We utilized the ARCaP(E)/ARCaP(M) prostate cancer progression model and LNCaP clones stably overexpressing Snail to identify novel markers associated with EMT. Compared to ARCaP(E) cells, the highly tumorigenic mesenchymal ARCaP(M) and ARCaP(M1) variant cells displayed a higher incidence of bone metastasis after intracardiac administration in SCID mice. ARCaP(M) and ARCaP(M1) expressed mesenchymal stromal markers of vimentin and N-cadherin in addition to elevated levels of Receptor Activator of NF-kappaB Ligand (RANKL). We observed that both epidermal growth factor (EGF) plus TGFbeta1 treatment and Snail overexpression induced EMT in ARCaP(E) and LNCaP cells, and EMT was associated with increased expression of RANKL protein. Finally, we determined that the RANKL protein was functionally active, promoting osteoclastogenesis in vitro. Our results indicate that RANKL is a novel marker for EMT during prostate cancer progression. RANKL may function as a link between EMT, bone turnover, and prostate cancer skeletal metastasis.
    Cell Research 08/2008; 18(8):858-70. · 10.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is crucial for the migration and invasion of many epithelial tumors, including prostate cancer. Although it is known that ZEB1 overexpression promotes EMT primarily through down-regulation of E-cadherin in a variety of cancers, the soluble ligands responsible for the activation of ZEB1 have yet to be identified. In the present study, we investigated the role of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) in the regulation of ZEB1 during EMT associated with prostate tumor cell migration. We found that ZEB1 is expressed in highly aggressive prostate cancer cells and that its expression correlates directly with Gleason grade in human prostate tumors (P < 0.001). IGF-I up-regulates ZEB1 expression in prostate cancer cells exhibiting an epithelial phenotype. In prostate cancer cells displaying a mesenchymal phenotype, ZEB1 inhibition reverses the suppression of E-cadherin protein and down-regulates the expression of the mesenchymal markers N-cadherin and fibronectin. Furthermore, ZEB1 blockade decreases migratory and invasive potential in ARCaP(M) compared with the control. These results identify ZEB1 as a key transcriptional regulator of EMT in prostate cancer and suggest that the aberrant expression of ZEB1 in prostate cancer cells occurs in part in response to IGF-I stimulation.
    Cancer Research 05/2008; 68(7):2479-88. · 9.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Androgen refractory cancer of the prostate (ARCaP) cells contain androgen receptor (AR) and synthesize and secrete prostate specific antigen (PSA). We isolated epithelia-like ARCaP(E) from parental ARCaP cells and induced them to undergo epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) by exposing these cells to soluble factors including TGFbeta1 plus EGF, IGF-1, beta2-microglobulin (beta2-m), or a bone microenvironment. The molecular and behavioral characteristics of the resultant ARCaP(M) were characterized extensively in comparison to the parental ARCaP(E) cells. In addition to expressing mesenchymal biomarkers, ARCaP(M) gained 100% incidence of bone metastasis. ARCaP(M) cells express receptor activator of NF-kappaB ligand (RANKL), which was shown to increase tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP)-positive osteoclasts in culture, and when metastatic to bone in vivo. We provide evidence that RANKL expression was promoted by increased cell signaling mediated by the activation of Stat3-Snail-LIV-1. RANKL expressed by ARCaP(M) cells is functional both in vitro and in vivo. The lesson we learned from the ARCaP model of EMT is that activation of a specific cell signaling pathway by soluble factors can lead to increased bone turnover, mediated by enhanced RANKL expression by tumor cells, which is implicated in the high incidence of prostate cancer bone colonization. The ARCaP EMT model is highly attractive for developing new therapeutic agents to treat prostate cancer bone metastasis.
    Clinical and Experimental Metastasis 02/2008; 25(6):601-10. · 3.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cancer is not a single cell disease and its existence and behavior are constantly modulated by the host. Cancer gene expression and genetics are also highly dynamic and are regulated epigenetically by the host. In this chapter, we describe the molecular pathways leading to an unusual property of cancer cells: the ability to mimic the host microenvironment, and, in particular, the characteristics of osteomimicry and vasculogenic mimicry. We also discuss the importance of host inflammatory and stem cells, which contribute to the growth and survival of cancer cells. By understanding the salient features of cancer-host interaction, novel therapeutics may be developed to target both cancer and host in the treatment of lethal prostate cancer metastases.
    12/2006: pages 73-86;
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    ABSTRACT: The ARCaP cell line was established from the ascites fluid of a patient with metastatic prostate cancer. This study characterized the host microenvironmental role in cancer progression, epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT), and bone and adrenal metastasis in parental ARCaP and its derived cell subclones. Cytogenetic profiles, growth, migration, invasion, cellular interaction, drug sensitivities, and gene expression of ARCaP cell subclones were compared. In vivo gene expression, behavior, and metastasis of ARCaP subclones were analyzed by serial intracardiac injections into SCID mice. ARCaP(E) cells, with cobblestone morphology, underwent EMT through cellular interaction with host bone and adrenal gland. Lineage-derived ARCaP(M) cells, with spindle-shape fibroblastic morphology, exhibited decreased cell adhesion and increased metastasis to bone and adrenal gland. Cytogenetic analyses of parental and ARCaP subclones confirmed their clonality. ARCaP uniquely models the molecular basis of prostate cancer bone and adrenal metastases and epithelial to mesenchymal transition.
    The Prostate 12/2006; 66(15):1664-73. · 3.84 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

545 Citations
78.36 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2009–2014
    • Clark Atlanta University
      • • Department of Biological Sciences
      • • Center for Cancer Research and Therapeutic Development
      Atlanta, Georgia, United States
  • 2004–2008
    • Emory University
      • Department of Urology
      Atlanta, GA, United States
  • 2002–2005
    • University of Iowa
      • Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology
      Iowa City, IA, United States