Publications by authors named "Frederic R Santer"

29 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

MYC-Mediated Ribosomal Gene Expression Sensitizes Enzalutamide-resistant Prostate Cancer Cells to EP300/CREBBP Inhibitors.

Am J Pathol 2021 06 8;191(6):1094-1107. Epub 2021 Mar 8.

Department of Urology, Medical University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria. Electronic address:

Patients with advanced prostate cancer are frequently treated with the antiandrogen enzalutamide. However, resistance eventually develops in virtually all patients, and various mechanisms have been associated with this process. The histone acetyltransferases EP300 and CREBBP are involved in regulation of cellular events in advanced prostate cancer. This study investigated the role of EP300/CREBBP inhibitors in enzalutamide-resistant prostate cancer. EP300/CREBBP inhibitors led to the same inhibition of androgen receptor activity in enzalutamide-resistant and -sensitive cells. However, enzalutamide-resistant cells were more sensitive to these inhibitors in viability assays. As indicated by the RNA-sequencing-based pathway analysis, genes related to the ribosome and MYC activity were significantly altered upon EP300/CREBBP inhibitor treatment. EP300/CREBBP inhibitors led to the down-regulation of ribosomal proteins RPL36 and RPL29. High-level ribosomal proteins amplifications and MYC amplifications were observed in castration-resistant prostate cancer samples of the publicly available Stand Up to Cancer data set. An inhibitor of RNA polymerase I-mediated transcription was used to evaluate the functional implications of these findings. The enzalutamide-resistant cell lines were more sensitive to this treatment. In addition, the migration rate of enzalutamide-resistant cells was strongly inhibited by this treatment. Taken together, the current data show that EP300/CREBBP inhibitors affect the MYC/ribosomal protein axis in enzalutamide-resistant cells and may have promising therapeutic implications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajpath.2021.02.017DOI Listing
June 2021

p300 is upregulated by docetaxel and is a target in chemoresistant prostate cancer.

Endocr Relat Cancer 2020 03;27(3):187-198

Division of Experimental Urology, Department of Urology, Medical University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria.

Administration of the microtubule inhibitor docetaxel is a common treatment for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) and results in prolonged patient overall survival. Usually, after a short period of time chemotherapy resistance emerges and there is urgent need to find new therapeutic targets to overcome therapy resistance. The lysine-acetyltransferase p300 has been correlated to prostate cancer (PCa) progression. Here, we aimed to clarify a possible function of p300 in chemotherapy resistance and verify p300 as a target in chemoresistant PCa. Immunohistochemistry staining of tissue samples revealed significantly higher p300 protein expression in patients who received docetaxel as a neoadjuvant therapy compared to control patients. Elevated p300 expression was confirmed by analysis of publicly available patient data, where significantly higher p300 mRNA expression was found in tissue of mCRPC tumors of docetaxel-treated patients. Consistently, docetaxel-resistant PCa cells showed increased p300 protein expression compared to docetaxel-sensitive counterparts. Docetaxel treatment of PCa cells for 72 h resulted in elevated p300 expression. shRNA-mediated p300 knockdown did not alter colony formation efficiency in docetaxel-sensitive cells, but significantly reduced clonogenic potential of docetaxel-resistant cells. Downregulation of p300 in docetaxel-resistant cells also impaired cell migration and invasion. Taken together, we showed that p300 is upregulated by docetaxel, and our findings suggest that p300 is a possible co-target in treatment of chemoresistant PCa.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1530/ERC-19-0488DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7040497PMC
March 2020

The STAT3 Inhibitor Galiellalactone Reduces IL6-Mediated AR Activity in Benign and Malignant Prostate Models.

Mol Cancer Ther 2018 12 25;17(12):2722-2731. Epub 2018 Sep 25.

Division of Experimental Urology, Department of Urology, Medical University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria.

IL6/STAT3 signaling is associated with endocrine therapy resistance in prostate cancer, but therapies targeting this pathway in prostate cancer were unsuccessful in clinical trials so far. The mechanistic explanation for this phenomenon is currently unclear; however, IL6 has pleiotropic effects on a number of signaling pathways, including the androgen receptor (AR). Therefore, we investigated IL6-mediated AR activation in prostate cancer cell lines and primary prostate tissue cultures in order to gain a better understanding on how to inhibit this process for future clinical trials. IL6 significantly increased androgen-dependent AR activity in LNCaP cells but importantly did not influence AR activity at castrate androgen levels. To identify the underlying mechanism, we investigated several signaling pathways but only found IL6-dependent changes in STAT3 signaling. Biochemical inhibition of STAT3 with the small-molecule inhibitor galiellalactone significantly reduced AR activity in several prostate and breast cancer cell lines. We confirmed the efficacy of galiellalactone in primary tissue slice cultures from radical prostatectomy samples. Galiellalactone significantly reduced the expression of the AR target genes ( < 0.001), ( < 0.001), and ( = 0.003) in benign tissue cultures ( = 24). However, a high heterogeneity in the response of the malignant samples was discovered, and only a subset of tissue samples (4 out of 10) had decreased PSA expression upon galiellalactone treatment. Taken together, this finding demonstrates that targeting the IL6/STAT3 pathway with galiellalactone is a viable option to decrease AR activity in prostate tissue that may be applied in a personalized medicine approach.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-18-0508DOI Listing
December 2018

Movember GAP1 PDX project: An international collection of serially transplantable prostate cancer patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models.

Prostate 2018 12 2;78(16):1262-1282. Epub 2018 Aug 2.

Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.

Background: While it has been challenging to establish prostate cancer patient-derived xenografts (PDXs), with a take rate of 10-40% and long latency time, multiple groups throughout the world have developed methods for the successful establishment of serially transplantable human prostate cancer PDXs using a variety of immune deficient mice. In 2014, the Movember Foundation launched a Global Action Plan 1 (GAP1) project to support an international collaborative prostate cancer PDX program involving eleven groups. Between these Movember consortium members, a total of 98 authenticated human prostate cancer PDXs were available for characterization. Eighty three of these were derived directly from patient material, and 15 were derived as variants of patient-derived material via serial passage in androgen deprived hosts. A major goal of the Movember GAP1 PDX project was to provide the prostate cancer research community with a summary of both the basic characteristics of the 98 available authenticated serially transplantable human prostate cancer PDX models and the appropriate contact information for collaborations. Herein, we report a summary of these PDX models.

Methods: PDX models were established in immunocompromised mice via subcutaneous or subrenal-capsule implantation. Dual-label species (ie, human vs mouse) specific centromere and telomere Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization (FISH) and immuno-histochemical (IHC) staining of tissue microarrays (TMAs) containing replicates of the PDX models were used for characterization of expression of a number of phenotypic markers important for prostate cancer including AR (assessed by IHC and FISH), Ki67, vimentin, RB1, P-Akt, chromogranin A (CgA), p53, ERG, PTEN, PSMA, and epithelial cytokeratins.

Results: Within this series of PDX models, the full spectrum of clinical disease stages is represented, including androgen-sensitive and castration-resistant primary and metastatic prostate adenocarcinomas as well as prostate carcinomas with neuroendocrine differentiation. The annotated clinical characteristics of these PDXs were correlated with their marker expression profile.

Conclusion: Our results demonstrate the clinical relevance of this series of PDXs as a platform for both basic science studies and therapeutic discovery/drug development. The present report provides the prostate cancer community with a summary of the basic characteristics and a contact information for collaborations using these models.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pros.23701DOI Listing
December 2018

Studies on Steroid Receptor Coactivators in Prostate Cancer.

Methods Mol Biol 2018 ;1786:259-262

Experimental Urology, Department of Urology, Medical University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria.

High expression of several androgen receptor coactivators is frequently reported in prostate cancer. Coactivators such as p300/CBP are involved in modulation of androgen receptor activity by increasing the effects of androgenic hormones and enhancing agonistic activity of antiandrogens. Studies in the field of prostate cancer frequently examined the role of p300/CBP and SRC-1 (NCOA1). In addition to their effects on steroid receptor activity, coactivators may influence other cellular functions such as migration and invasion. Steroid receptor coactivators may target various downstream genes, thus modulating proliferative and migratory responses in specific prostate cancer models. This chapter will focus on methodologies used to analyze the role of steroid receptor coactivators in prostate cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-7845-8_15DOI Listing
February 2019

Oncolytic activity of the rhabdovirus VSV-GP against prostate cancer.

Int J Cancer 2018 10 3;143(7):1786-1796. Epub 2018 Jul 3.

Division of Virology, Medical University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria.

Oncolytic viruses, including the oncolytic rhabdovirus VSV-GP tested here, selectively infect and kill cancer cells and are a promising new therapeutic modality. Our aim was to study the efficacy of VSV-GP, a vesicular stomatitis virus carrying the glycoprotein of lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, against prostate cancer, for which current treatment options still fail to cure metastatic disease. VSV-GP was found to infect 6 of 7 prostate cancer cell lines with great efficacy. However, susceptibility was reduced in one cell line with low virus receptor expression and in 3 cell lines after interferon alpha treatment. Four cell lines had developed resistance to interferon type I at different levels of the interferon signaling pathway, resulting in a deficient antiviral response. In prostate cancer mouse models, long-term remission was achieved upon intratumoral and, remarkably, also upon intravenous treatment of subcutaneous tumors and bone metastases. These promising efficacy data demonstrate that treatment of prostate cancer with VSV-GP is feasible and safe in preclinical models and encourage further preclinical and clinical development of VSV-GP for systemic treatment of metastatic prostate cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ijc.31556DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6712949PMC
October 2018

Olaparib is effective in combination with, and as maintenance therapy after, first-line endocrine therapy in prostate cancer cells.

Mol Oncol 2018 04 15;12(4):561-576. Epub 2018 Mar 15.

Division of Experimental Urology, Department of Urology, Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria.

A number of prostate cancer (PCa)-specific genomic aberrations (denominated BRCAness genes) have been discovered implicating sensitivity to PARP inhibition within the concept of synthetic lethality. Recent clinical studies show favorable results for the PARP inhibitor olaparib used as single agent for treatment of metastatic castration-resistant PCa. Using 2D and 3D cell culture models mimicking the different treatment and progression stages of PCa, we evaluated a potential use for olaparib in combination with first-line endocrine treatments, androgen deprivation, and complete androgen blockade, and as a maintenance therapy following on from endocrine therapy. We demonstrate that the LNCaP cell line, possessing multiple aberrations in BRCAness genes, is sensitive to olaparib. Additive effects of olaparib combined with endocrine treatments in LNCaP are noted. In contrast, we find that the TMPRSS2:ERG fusion-positive cell lines VCaP and DuCaP do not show signs of synthetic lethality, but are sensitive to cytotoxic effects caused by olaparib. In consequence, additive effects of olaparib with endocrine therapy were not observable in these cell lines, showing the need for synthetic lethality in combination treatment regimens. Additionally, we show that PCa cells remain sensitive to olaparib treatment after initial androgen deprivation implicating a possible use of olaparib as maintenance therapy. In sum, our preclinical data recommend olaparib as a synthetic lethal treatment option in combination or sequenced to first-line endocrine therapy for PCa patients with diagnosed BRCAness.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/1878-0261.12185DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5891051PMC
April 2018

Interleukin-4 induces a CD44 /CD49b PC3 subpopulation with tumor-initiating characteristics.

J Cell Biochem 2018 05 19;119(5):4103-4112. Epub 2018 Jan 19.

Division of Experimental Urology, Department of Urology, Medical University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria.

Pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines may influence proliferation, migration, invasion, and other cellular events of prostate cancer (PCa) cells. The hyaluronan receptor CD44, which is regulated by Interleukin (IL)-4, is a prostate basal cell marker. CD44 /CD49b expressing cells have been demonstrated to have tumor-initiating characteristics. Here, we aimed to analyze the effects of long-term IL-4 treatment on CD44/CD49b expression, migration, proliferation, and clonogenic potential of basal-like PCa cells. To this end PC3 cells were treated over 30 passages with 5 ng/mL IL-4 (PC3-IL4) resulting in an increased population of CD44 expressing cells. This was concurrent with a clonal outgrowth of cuboid-shaped cells, with increased size and light absorbance properties. Flow cytometry revealed that the PC3-IL4 CD44 expressing subpopulation corresponds to the CD49b population. Isolation of the PC3-IL4 CD44 /CD49b subpopulation via fluorescence-associated cell sorting showed increased migrative, proliferative, and clonogenic potential compared to the CD44 /CD49b subpopulation. In conclusion, IL-4 increases a PC3 subpopulation with tumor-initiating characteristics. Thus, IL-4, similar to other cytokines may be a regulator of tumor-initiation and hence, may present a suitable therapy target in combination with current treatment options.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jcb.26607DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5900863PMC
May 2018

The AR/NCOA1 axis regulates prostate cancer migration by involvement of PRKD1.

Endocr Relat Cancer 2016 06 2;23(6):495-508. Epub 2016 Jun 2.

Division of Experimental UrologyDepartment of Urology, Medical University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria

Due to the urgent need for new prostate cancer (PCa) therapies, the role of androgen receptor (AR)-interacting proteins should be investigated. In this study we aimed to address whether the AR coactivator nuclear receptor coactivator 1 (NCOA1) is involved in PCa progression. Therefore, we tested the effect of long-term NCOA1 knockdown on processes relevant to metastasis formation. [(3)H]-thymidine incorporation assays revealed a reduced proliferation rate in AR-positive MDA PCa 2b and LNCaP cells upon knockdown of NCOA1, whereas AR-negative PC3 cells were not affected. Furthermore, Boyden chamber assays showed a strong decrease in migration and invasion upon NCOA1 knockdown, independently of the cell line's AR status. In order to understand the mechanistic reasons for these changes, transcriptome analysis using cDNA microarrays was performed. Protein kinase D1 (PRKD1) was found to be prominently up-regulated by NCOA1 knockdown in MDA PCa 2b, but not in PC3 cells. Inhibition of PRKD1 reverted the reduced migratory potential caused by NCOA1 knockdown. Furthermore, PRKD1 was negatively regulated by AR. Immunohistochemical staining of PCa patient samples revealed a strong increase in NCOA1 expression in primary tumors compared with normal prostate tissue, while no final conclusion could be drawn for PRKD1 expression in tumor specimens. Thus, our findings directly associate the AR/NCOA1 complex with PRKD1 regulation and cellular migration and support the concept of therapeutic inhibition of NCOA1 in PCa.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1530/ERC-16-0160DOI Listing
June 2016

SOCS3 Modulates the Response to Enzalutamide and Is Regulated by Androgen Receptor Signaling and CpG Methylation in Prostate Cancer Cells.

Mol Cancer Res 2016 06 6;14(6):574-85. Epub 2016 Apr 6.

Division of Experimental Urology, Department of Urology, Medical University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria.

Unlabelled: The proinflammatory cytokine IL6 is associated with bad prognosis in prostate cancer and implicated in progression to castration resistance. Suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3) is an IL6-induced negative feedback regulator of the IL6/Janus kinase (JAK)/STAT3 pathway. This study reveals that the SOCS3 promoter is hypermethylated in cancerous regions compared with adjacent benign tissue in prostate cancer using methylation-specific qPCR. A series of in vitro experiments was performed to assess the functional impact of low SOCS3 expression during anti-androgen treatment. Using lentivirus-mediated knockdown, it was demonstrated for the first time that SOCS3 regulates IL6/JAK/STAT3 signaling in androgen receptor-positive LNCaP cells. In addition, SOCS3 mRNA is upregulated by the anti-androgens bicalutamide and enzalutamide. This effect is caused by androgen receptor-mediated suppression of IL6ST and JAK1 expression, which leads to altered STAT3 signaling. Functionally, knockdown of SOCS3 led to enhanced androgen receptor activity after 3 weeks of enzalutamide treatment in an inflammatory setting. Furthermore, the stemness/self-renewal associated genes SOX2 and NANOG were strongly upregulated by the long-term treatment, and modulation of SOCS3 expression was sufficient to counteract this effect. These findings prove that SOCS3 plays an important role during anti-androgen treatment in an inflammatory environment.

Implications: SOCS3 is frequently inactivated by promoter hypermethylation in prostate cancer, which disrupts the feedback regulation of IL6 signaling and leads to reduced efficacy of enzalutamide in the presence of inflammatory cytokines. Mol Cancer Res; 14(6); 574-85. ©2016 AACR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-15-0495DOI Listing
June 2016

DNA damage signalling barrier, oxidative stress and treatment-relevant DNA repair factor alterations during progression of human prostate cancer.

Mol Oncol 2016 06 3;10(6):879-94. Epub 2016 Mar 3.

Danish Cancer Society Research Center, Copenhagen, Denmark; Science for Life Laboratory, Division of Translational Medicine and Chemical Biology, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden; Laboratory of Genome Integrity, Institute of Molecular and Translational Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, Palacky University, Olomouc, Czech Republic. Electronic address:

The DNA damage checkpoints provide an anti-cancer barrier in diverse tumour types, however this concept has remained unexplored in prostate cancer (CaP). Furthermore, targeting DNA repair defects by PARP1 inhibitors (PARPi) as a cancer treatment strategy is emerging yet requires suitable predictive biomarkers. To address these issues, we performed immunohistochemical analysis of multiple markers of DNA damage signalling, oxidative stress, DNA repair and cell cycle control pathways during progression of human prostate disease from benign hyperplasia, through intraepithelial neoplasia to CaP, complemented by genetic analyses of TMPRSS2-ERG rearrangement and NQO1, an anti-oxidant factor and p53 protector. The DNA damage checkpoint barrier (γH2AX, pATM, p53) mechanism was activated during CaP tumorigenesis, albeit less and with delayed culmination compared to other cancers, possibly reflecting lower replication stress (slow proliferation despite cases of Rb loss and cyclin D1 overexpression) and progressive loss of ATM activator NKX3.1. Oxidative stress (8-oxoguanine lesions) and NQO1 increased during disease progression. NQO1 genotypes of 390 men did not indicate predisposition to CaP, yet loss of NQO1 in CaP suggested potential progression-opposing tumour suppressor role. TMPRSS2-ERG rearrangement and PTEN loss, events sensitizing to PARPi, occurred frequently along with heterogeneous loss of DNA repair factors 53BP1, JMJD1C and Rev7 (all studied here for the first time in CaP) whose defects may cause resistance to PARPi. Overall, our results reveal an unorthodox DNA damage checkpoint barrier scenario in CaP tumorigenesis, and provide novel insights into oxidative stress and DNA repair, with implications for biomarker guidance of future targeted therapy of CaP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molonc.2016.02.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5423169PMC
June 2016

Therapy escape mechanisms in the malignant prostate.

Semin Cancer Biol 2015 Dec 21;35:133-44. Epub 2015 Aug 21.

Jack Birch Unit for Molecular Carcinogenesis, University of York, York YO10 5DD, United Kingdom.

Androgen receptor (AR) is the main target for prostate cancer therapy. Clinical approaches for AR inactivation include chemical castration, inhibition of androgen synthesis and AR antagonists (anti-androgens). However, treatment resistance occurs for which an important number of therapy escape mechanisms have been identified. Herein, we summarise the current knowledge of molecular mechanisms underlying therapy resistance in prostate cancer. Moreover, the tumour escape mechanisms are arranged into the concepts of target modification, bypass signalling, histologic transformation, cancer stem cells and miscellaneous mechanisms. This may help researchers to compare and understand same or similar concepts of therapy resistance in prostate cancer and other cancer types.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.semcancer.2015.08.005DOI Listing
December 2015

Mechanistic rationale for MCL1 inhibition during androgen deprivation therapy.

Oncotarget 2015 Mar;6(8):6105-22

Medical University of Innsbruck, Department of Urology, Division of Experimental Urology, Innsbruck, Austria.

Androgen deprivation therapy induces apoptosis or cell cycle arrest in prostate cancer (PCa) cells. Here we set out to analyze whether MCL1, a known mediator of chemotherapy resistance regulates the cellular response to androgen withdrawal. Analysis of MCL1 protein and mRNA expression in PCa tissue and primary cell culture specimens of luminal and basal origin, respectively, reveals higher expression in cancerous tissue compared to benign origin. Using PCa cellular models in vitro and in vivo we show that MCL1 expression is upregulated in androgen-deprived PCa cells. Regulation of MCL1 through the AR signaling axis is indirectly mediated via a cell cycle-dependent mechanism. Using constructs downregulating or overexpressing MCL1 we demonstrate that expression of MCL1 prevents induction of apoptosis when PCa cells are grown under steroid-deprived conditions. The BH3-mimetic Obatoclax induces apoptosis and decreases MCL1 expression in androgen-sensitive PCa cells, while castration-resistant PCa cells are less sensitive and react with an upregulation of MCL1 expression. Synergistic effects of Obatoclax with androgen receptor inactivation can be observed. Moreover, clonogenicity of primary basal PCa cells is efficiently inhibited by Obatoclax. Altogether, our results suggest that MCL1 is a key molecule deciding over the fate of PCa cells upon inactivation of androgen receptor signaling.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4467425PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.3368DOI Listing
March 2015

Androgen receptor signaling in prostate cancer.

Cancer Metastasis Rev 2014 Sep;33(2-3):413-27

Division of Experimental Urology, Department of Urology, Innsbruck Medical University, Anichstrasse 35, 6020, Innsbruck, Austria,

The androgen receptor (AR), ligand-induced transcription factor, is expressed in primary prostate cancer and in metastases. AR regulates multiple cellular events, proliferation, apoptosis, migration, invasion, and differentiation. Its expression in prostate cancer cells is regulated by steroid and peptide hormones. AR downregulation by various compounds which are contained in fruits and vegetables is considered a chemopreventive strategy for prostate cancer. There is a bidirectional interaction between the AR and micro-RNA (miRNA) in prostate cancer; androgens may upregulate or downregulate the selected miRNA, whereas the AR itself is a target of miRNA. AR mutations have been discovered in prostate cancer, and their incidence may increase with tumor progression. AR mutations and increased expression of selected coactivators contribute to the acquisition of agonistic properties of anti-androgens. Expression of some of the coactivators is enhanced during androgen ablation. AR activity is regulated by peptides such as cytokines or growth factors which reduce the concentration of androgen required for maximal stimulation of the receptor. In prostate cancer, variant ARs which exhibit constitutive activity were detected. Novel therapies which interfere with intracrine synthesis of androgens or inhibit nuclear translocation of the AR have been introduced in the clinic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10555-013-9474-0DOI Listing
September 2014

IL6 sensitizes prostate cancer to the antiproliferative effect of IFNα2 through IRF9.

Endocr Relat Cancer 2013 Oct 23;20(5):677-89. Epub 2013 Aug 23.

Division of Experimental Urology, Department of Urology, Innsbruck Medical University, Austria.

Development and progression of prostate cancer (PCa) are associated with chronic inflammation. The cytokine interleukin 6 (IL6) can influence progression, differentiation, survival, and angiogenesis of PCa. To identify novel pathways that are triggered by IL6, we performed a gene expression profiling of two PCa cell lines, LNCaP and MDA PCa 2b, treated with 5 ng/ml IL6. Interferon (IFN) regulatory factor 9 (IRF9) was identified as one of the most prevalent IL6-regulated genes in both cell lines. IRF9 is a mediator of type I IFN signaling and acts together with STAT1 and 2 to activate transcription of IFN-responsive genes. The IL6 regulation of IRF9 was confirmed at mRNA and protein levels by quantitative real-time PCR and western blot respectively in both cell lines and could be blocked by the anti-IL6 antibody Siltuximab. Three PCa cell lines, PC3, Du-145, and LNCaP-IL6+, with an autocrine IL6 loop displayed high expression of IRF9. A tissue microarray with 36 PCa tissues showed that IRF9 protein expression is moderately elevated in malignant areas and positively correlates with the tissue expression of IL6. Downregulation and overexpression of IRF9 provided evidence for an IFN-independent role of IRF9 in cellular proliferation of different PCa cell lines. Furthermore, expression of IRF9 was essential to mediate the antiproliferative effects of IFNα2. We concluded that IL6 is an inducer of IRF9 expression in PCa and a sensitizer for the antiproliferative effects of IFNα2.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1530/ERC-13-0222DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3753051PMC
October 2013

Molecular aspects of androgenic signaling and possible targets for therapeutic intervention in prostate cancer.

Steroids 2013 Sep 30;78(9):851-9. Epub 2013 Apr 30.

Division of Experimental Urology, Department of Urology, Innsbruck Medical University, Anichstrasse 35, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria.

The androgen axis is of crucial importance in the development of novel therapeutic approaches for non-organ-confined prostate cancer. Recent studies revealed that tumor cells have the ability to synthesize androgenic hormones in an intracrine manner. This recognition opened the way for the development of a novel drug, abiraterone acetate, which shows benefits in clinical trials. A novel anti-androgen enzalutamide that inhibits androgen receptor (AR) nuclear translocation has also been developed and tested in the clinic. AR coactivators exert specific cellular regulatory functions, however it is difficult to improve the treatment because of a large number of coregulators overexpressed in prostate cancer. AR itself is a target of several miRNAs which may cause its increased degradation, inhibition of proliferation, and increased apoptosis. Truncated AR occur in prostate cancer as a consequence of alternative splicing. They exhibit ligand-independent transcriptional activity. Although there has been an improvement of endocrine therapy in prostate cancer, increased intracrine ligand synthesis and appearance of variant receptors may facilitate the development of resistance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.steroids.2013.04.012DOI Listing
September 2013

Sorafenib decreases proliferation and induces apoptosis of prostate cancer cells by inhibition of the androgen receptor and Akt signaling pathways.

Endocr Relat Cancer 2012 Jun 3;19(3):305-19. Epub 2012 May 3.

Division of Experimental Urology, Department of Urology, Innsbruck Medical University, Anichstrasse 35, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria.

Antihormonal and chemotherapy are standard treatments for nonorgan-confined prostate cancer. The effectivity of these therapies is limited and the development of alternative approaches is necessary. In the present study, we report on the use of the multikinase inhibitor sorafenib in a panel of prostate cancer cell lines and their derivatives which mimic endocrine and chemotherapy resistance. (3)H-thymidine incorporation assays revealed that sorafenib causes a dose-dependent inhibition of proliferation of all cell lines associated with downregulation of cyclin-dependent kinase 2 and cyclin D1 expression. Apoptosis was induced at 2  μM of sorafenib in androgen-sensitive cells, whereas a higher dose of the drug was needed in castration-resistant cell lines. Sorafenib stimulated apoptosis in prostate cancer cell lines through downregulation of myeloid cell leukemia-1 (MCL-1) expression and Akt phosphorylation. Although concentrations of sorafenib required for the antitumor effect in therapy-resistant sublines were higher than those needed in parental cells, the drug showed efficacy in cells which became resistant to bicalutamide and docetaxel respectively. Most interestingly, we show that sorafenib has an inhibitory effect on androgen receptor (AR) and prostate-specific antigen expression. In cells in which AR expression was downregulated by short interfering RNA, the treatment with sorafenib increased apoptosis in an additive manner. In summary, the results of the present study indicate that there is a potential to use sorafenib in prostate cancers as an adjuvant therapy option to current androgen ablation treatments, but also in progressed prostate cancers that become unresponsive to standard therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1530/ERC-11-0298DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3353237PMC
June 2012

Androgen receptor co-activators in the regulation of cellular events in prostate cancer.

World J Urol 2012 Jun 22;30(3):297-302. Epub 2011 Nov 22.

Experimental Urology, Department of Urology, Innsbruck Medical University, Anichstrasse 35, 6020, Innsbruck, Austria.

Objectives: Androgen receptor (AR) action in benign and malignant tissue is potentiated by a number of co-regulatory proteins that may interact with one or more receptor domains. With improvement of research methodologies, it became possible to detect a number of co-activators whose expression is increased in prostate cancer tissue.

Methods: Manuscripts describing prostate cancer-relevant regulation of cellular events by co-activators are selected and summarized.

Results: AR co-activators may regulate histone modification, proteasomal degradation, chaperones, sumoylation, chromatin remodeling, and cytoskeleton. Some of them (TIF-2) are up-regulated by androgens, whereas the expression of others increases during androgen ablation (p300, CBP, and Tip60). Most co-factors are important for the stimulation of cellular proliferation, although in some cases (ART-27), they act as tumor suppressors and are deleted in prostate cancer tissue. In addition to stimulating AR, some co-activators suppress apoptosis in prostate cancer cells that do not express the AR (p300 and SRC-3). It was recently shown that the inhibition of p300 slows down proliferation, stimulates apoptosis, and inhibits migration and invasion.

Conclusions: Co-factors whose down-regulation results in the alterations of multiple cellular functions may be valid targets for novel therapies in advanced prostate cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00345-011-0797-6DOI Listing
June 2012

Inhibition of the acetyltransferases p300 and CBP reveals a targetable function for p300 in the survival and invasion pathways of prostate cancer cell lines.

Mol Cancer Ther 2011 Sep 27;10(9):1644-55. Epub 2011 Jun 27.

Department of Urology, Experimental Urology, Innsbruck Medical University, Anichstrasse 35, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria.

Inhibitors of histone deacetylases have been approved for clinical application in cancer treatment. On the other hand, histone acetyltransferase (HAT) inhibitors have been less extensively investigated for their potential use in cancer therapy. In prostate cancer, the HATs and coactivators p300 and CBP are upregulated and may induce transcription of androgen receptor (AR)-responsive genes, even in the absence or presence of low levels of AR. To discover a potential anticancer effect of p300/CBP inhibition, we used two different approaches: (i) downregulation of p300 and CBP by specific short interfering RNA (siRNA) and (ii) chemical inhibition of the acetyltransferase activity by a newly developed small molecule, C646. Knockdown of p300 by specific siRNA, but surprisingly not of CBP, led to an increase of caspase-dependent apoptosis involving both extrinsic and intrinsic cell death pathways in androgen-dependent and castration-resistant prostate cancer cells. Induction of apoptosis was mediated by several pathways including inhibition of AR function and decrease of the nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) subunit p65. Furthermore, cell invasion was decreased upon p300, but not CBP, depletion and was accompanied by lower matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and MMP-9 transcriptions. Thus, p300 and CBP have differential roles in the processes of survival and invasion of prostate cancer cells. Induction of apoptosis in prostate cancer cells was confirmed by the use of C646. This was substantiated by a decrease of AR function and downregulation of p65 impairing several NF-κB target genes. Taken together, these results suggest that p300 inhibition may be a promising approach for the development of new anticancer therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-11-0182DOI Listing
September 2011

Transcriptional coactivators p300 and CBP stimulate estrogen receptor-beta signaling and regulate cellular events in prostate cancer.

Prostate 2011 Mar 21;71(4):431-7. Epub 2010 Sep 21.

Department of Urology, Innsbruck Medical University, Innsbruck, Austria.

Background: Steroid receptor coactivators p300 and CBP are highly expressed in advanced prostate cancer. They potentiate activation of androgen receptor by androgens and anti-androgens. In the present study, we have addressed the question whether these coactivators enhance activity of estrogen receptor-beta (ER-β), which is variably expressed in prostate cancers.

Methods: Expression levels of the coactivators p300 and CBP were manipulated by plasmid or siRNA transfections and activity of ER-β was measured by luciferase assays. Viability was measured by MTT assays and cellular migration was determined by wound-healing and Boyden chamber assays.

Results: High expression of ER-β was found in PC3 cells which were used for the experiments. p300 or CBP enhanced activation of ER-β by genistein. Antiestrogens did not acquire agonistic properties in the presence of increased concentrations of either coactivator. Inhibition of p300 or CBP decreased genistein stimulation of ER-β. Genistein reduced migration of PC3 prostate cancer cells and down-regulation of p300 potentiated this effect.

Conclusions: p300 and CBP are implicated in regulation of ER-β activity and cellular migration in prostate cancer. These findings are important for understanding of action of ER-β in carcinoma of the prostate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pros.21257DOI Listing
March 2011

SOCS-3 antagonises the proliferative and migratory effects of fibroblast growth factor-2 in prostate cancer by inhibition of p44/p42 MAPK signalling.

Endocr Relat Cancer 2010 Jun 18;17(2):525-38. Epub 2010 May 18.

Department of Urology, Innsbruck Medical University, Anichstrasse 35, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria.

Fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) is highly expressed in prostate cancer. It promotes tumour progression through multiple pathways including those of signal transducers and activators of transcription factor 3 (STAT3), mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) and Akt. In previous studies, we have reported that STAT3 phosphorylation inversely correlates with suppressor of cytokine signalling-3 (SOCS-3) expression in prostate cancer cells. Recently, it has become evident that SOCS-3-negative regulation is not only limited to the interleukin-6 (IL-6) receptor. We hypothesised that SOCS-3 interferes with FGF signalling, thus influencing the outcome of its action in prostate cancer cells. For this purpose, we treated DU-145 and LNCaP-IL-6+ cells with increasing concentrations of FGF-2, and verified protein phosphorylation. In the presence of FGF-2, neither STAT3, STAT1, nor Akt could be phosphorylated. Solely the p44/p42 MAPK pathway was activated after FGF-2 stimulation. We show for the first time that SOCS-3 interferes with the FGF-2 signalling pathway by modulating p44 and p42 phosphorylation in prostate cancer cells. Decreased SOCS-3 protein expression results in increased MAPK phosphorylation, whereas SOCS-3 overexpression leads to a decreased cellular proliferation and migration. On the basis of the present results, we propose that SOCS-3 is a novel modulator of FGF-2-regulated cellular events in prostate cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1677/ERC-10-0007DOI Listing
June 2010

Interleukin-6 trans-signalling differentially regulates proliferation, migration, adhesion and maspin expression in human prostate cancer cells.

Endocr Relat Cancer 2010 Mar 18;17(1):241-53. Epub 2010 Feb 18.

Department of Urology, Innsbruck Medical University, Anichstrasse 35, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria.

Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is suggested to have a pathogenic role in the progression of prostate cancer (PC), therefore representing an attractive target for new therapies. However, due to the pleiotropy of this cytokine, targeting IL-6 results in different and unpredictable responses. In order to better understand the mechanisms underlying the different responses to the cytokine, we focused our attention on IL-6 receptors (IL-6Rs) that represent the first element in the cascade of cytokine-activated signalling pathways. IL-6 signal transduction may indeed occur through the membrane IL-6R (classical signalling) and/or through the less studied soluble IL-6R (sIL-6R; IL-6 trans-signalling (IL-6TS)). We provide the first evidence how responses to IL-6 may depend on the different content of IL-6Rs in PC. In particular, the studies of (3)H-thymidine incorporation and exploitation of different approaches (i.e. activation or inhibition of IL-6TS in sIL-6R-negative and -positive cell lines and transfection of IL-6R siRNA) allowed us to demonstrate that IL-6TS specifically accounts for an anti-proliferative effect of the cytokine in three PC cell lines that are known to respond differently to IL-6. Additionally, by applying migration-, scratch- and adhesion assays, we show that IL-6TS increases motility and migration and decreases adhesion of prostate cells facilitating thereby processes that determine metastasis initiation and spread. Finally, by western analyses, we uncovered an IL-6- and sIL-6R-dependent downregulation of the tumour suppressor maspin. Collectively, these data suggest that selective targeting of IL-6TS might allow to refine the currently available experimental anti-IL-6 therapies against PC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1677/ERC-09-0200DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2829126PMC
March 2010

Down-regulation of suppressor of cytokine signaling-3 causes prostate cancer cell death through activation of the extrinsic and intrinsic apoptosis pathways.

Cancer Res 2009 Sep 8;69(18):7375-84. Epub 2009 Sep 8.

Department of Urology, Innsbruck Medical University, Innsbruck, Austria.

Suppressor of cytokine signaling-3 (SOCS-3) acts as a negative feedback regulator of the Janus-activated kinase/signal transducers and activators of transcription factors signaling pathway and plays an important role in the development and progression of various cancers. To better understand the role of SOCS-3 in prostate cancer, SOCS-3 expression was down-regulated in DU-145, LNCaP-IL-6+, and PC3 cells by consecutive SOCS-3 small interfering RNA transfections. SOCS-3 mRNA and protein expression as measured by quantitative reverse transcription-PCR and Western blot, respectively, were decreased by approximately 70% to 80% compared with controls. We observed a significant decrease in cell proliferation and viability in all SOCS-3-positive cell lines but not in the parental LNCaP cell line, which is SOCS-3 negative. In this study, we show that down-regulation of SOCS-3 leads to an increased cell death in prostate cancer cell lines. We found a considerable increase in the activation of the proapoptotic caspase-3/caspase-7, caspase-8, and caspase-9. A significant up-regulation of cleaved poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase and inhibition of Bcl-2 expression was observed in all SOCS-3-positive cell lines. Overexpression of Bcl-2 could rescue cells with decreased SOCS-3 levels from going into apoptosis. Tissue microarray data prove that SOCS-3 is highly expressed in castration-refractory tumor samples. In conclusion, we show that SOCS-3 is an important protein in the survival machinery in prostate cancer and is overexpressed in castration-resistant tumors. SOCS-3 knockdown results in an increase of cell death via activation of the extrinsic and intrinsic apoptosis pathways.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-09-0806DOI Listing
September 2009

Suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS)-1 is expressed in human prostate cancer and exerts growth-inhibitory function through down-regulation of cyclins and cyclin-dependent kinases.

Am J Pathol 2009 May 26;174(5):1921-30. Epub 2009 Mar 26.

Department of Urology, Biocenter, Innsbruck Medical University, Innsbruck, Austria.

Suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS) proteins play a pivotal role in the development and progression of various cancers. We have previously shown that SOCS-3 is expressed in prostate cancer, and its expression is inversely correlated with activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription factor 3. We hypothesized that SOCS-1, if expressed in prostate cancer cells, has a growth-regulatory role in this malignancy. The presence of both SOCS-1 mRNA and protein was detected in all tested cell lines. To assess SOCS-1 expression levels in vivo, we analyzed tissue microarrays and found a high percentage of positive cells in both prostate intraepithelial neoplasias and cancers. SOCS-1 expression levels decreased in samples taken from patients undergoing hormonal therapy but increased in specimens from patients who failed therapy. In LNCaP-interleukin-6- prostate cancer cells, SOCS-1 was up-regulated by interleukin-6 and in PC3-AR cells by androgens; such up-regulation was also found to significantly impair cell proliferation. To corroborate these findings, we used a specific small interfering RNA against SOCS-1 and blocked expression of the protein. Down-regulation of SOCS-1 expression caused a potent growth stimulation of PC3, DU-145, and LNCaP-interleukin-6- cells that was associated with the increased expression levels of cyclins D1 and E as well as cyclin-dependent kinases 2 and 4. In summary, we show that SOCS-1 is expressed in prostate cancer both in vitro and in vivo and acts as a negative growth regulator.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2353/ajpath.2009.080751DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2671279PMC
May 2009

High-risk human papillomavirus E7 oncoprotein detection in cervical squamous cell carcinoma.

Clin Cancer Res 2007 Dec;13(23):7067-72

Cell Metabolism and Differentiation Research Group, Medical University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria.

Purpose: Persistent infections by high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) types are the main etiologic factor for cervical cancer. The objective of this study was to evaluate whether high-risk E7 oncoprotein is adequate as a marker for the detection of cervical cancer.

Experimental Design: HPV typing was done in biopsies from 58 cervical carcinoma and 22 normal cervical squamous epithelia. The HPV-16 E7, HPV-18 E7, and HPV-45 E7 oncoprotein levels were monitored by immunohistochemistry and compared with those of p16(INK4a) and Ki67.

Results: Fifty-five (94.8%) tumors were high-risk HPV-DNA-positive (46 HPV-16, 2 HPV-16 and HPV-18, 4 HPV-18, 1 HPV-33, and 2 HPV-45). HPV-DNA could not be detected in three tumors (5.2%). High HPV E7 oncoprotein levels were shown in 57 cervical cancers (98.3%), without correlation between expression levels and tumor stages.

Conclusion: This is the first study which systematically analyzes the levels of the major HPV oncoproteins in cervical carcinomas demonstrating that the high-risk HPV E7 proteins are regularly expressed in these cancers. This suggests that high-risk E7 oncoproteins are necessary for cervical cancers and apparently essential as tumor marker.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-07-1222DOI Listing
December 2007

Human papillomavirus type 16 E7 oncoprotein inhibits apoptosis mediated by nuclear insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-3 by enhancing its ubiquitin/proteasome-dependent degradation.

Carcinogenesis 2007 Dec 7;28(12):2511-20. Epub 2007 Sep 7.

Cell Metabolism and Differentiation Research Group, Rennweg 10, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria.

The E7 protein encoded by the oncogenic human papillomavirus type 16 has been shown to bind and inactivate insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3), the pro-apoptotic product of a tumour suppressor gene; however, the molecular mechanism underlying E7-induced inactivation of IGFBP-3 remained uncertain. In this study, we map the IGFBP-3-binding domain for E7 to the nuclear localization signal in the conserved C-terminal domain of IGFBP-3. Moreover, we demonstrate that both proteins interact in the nucleus and that E7 induces polyubiquitination and proteasome-dependent proteolysis of nuclear IGFBP-3 in cervical cancer cells. This leads to a dramatic shortening of the half-life of nuclear IGFBP-3, whereas the stability of an E7-non-binding IGFBP-3 mutant is not affected by E7. Finally, we show that E7-mediated destruction of nuclear IGFBP-3 correlates with the inhibition of IGFBP-3-induced apoptotic cell death. These data are consistent with E7-induced ubiquitin/proteasome-dependent inactivation of nuclear IGFBP-3.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/bgm199DOI Listing
December 2007

Identification of the FHL2 transcriptional coactivator as a new functional target of the E7 oncoprotein of human papillomavirus type 16.

J Virol 2007 Jan 8;81(2):1027-32. Epub 2006 Nov 8.

Tyrolean Cancer Research Institute at the Medical University Innsbruck, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria.

We identified the transcriptional coactivator FHL2 as a novel target of the human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV-16) E7 oncoprotein, which plays a major role in cell transformation. The interaction with FHL2 is abolished by mutations in conserved regions 1 and 2 and in the C-terminal zinc finger domain of E7, all required for its transforming potential. We found that E7 impairs the coactivator function of FHL2 on both beta-catenin/LCF-dependent and AP-1-dependent promoters. Thus, the interaction with HPV-16 E7 leads to a promoter-specific impairment of FHL2 function and this may contribute to cell transformation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.01699-06DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1797482PMC
January 2007

Nuclear insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3 induces apoptosis and is targeted to ubiquitin/proteasome-dependent proteolysis.

Cancer Res 2006 Mar;66(6):3024-33

Cell Metabolism and Differentiation Research Group, Institute for Biomedical Aging Research of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Innsbruck, Austria.

Insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3), the product of a tumor suppressor target gene, can modulate cell proliferation and apoptosis by IGF-I-dependent and IGF-I-independent mechanisms. IGFBP-3 controls the bioavailability of IGFs in the extracellular environment and is known to be subject to degradation by various extracellular proteases. Although nuclear localization and functions of IGFBP-3 have been described in the past, we show as the novel features of this study that the abundance of nuclear IGFBP-3 is directly regulated by ubiquitin/proteasome-dependent proteolysis. We show that IGFBP-3 degradation depends on an active ubiquitin-E1 ligase, specific 26S proteasome inhibitors can efficiently stabilize nuclear IGFBP-3, and the metabolic half-life of nuclear IGFBP-3 is strongly reduced relative to cytoplasmic IGFBP-3. Nuclear IGFBP-3 is highly polyubiquitinated at multiple lysine residues in its conserved COOH-terminal domain and stabilized through mutation of two COOH-terminal lysine residues. Moreover, we show that IGFBP-3, if ectopically expressed in the nucleus, can induce apoptotic cell death. These results suggest that ubiquitin/proteasome-mediated proteolysis of IGFBP-3 may contribute to down-regulation of apoptosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-05-2013DOI Listing
March 2006
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