Cdc6 and cyclin E2 are PTEN-regulated genes associated with human prostate cancer metastasis.
ABSTRACT: Phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN) is frequently inactivated in metastatic prostate cancer, yet the molecular consequences of this and their association with the metastatic phenotype are incompletely understood. We performed transcriptomic analysis and identified genes altered by conditional PTEN reexpression in C4-2, a human metastatic prostate cancer cell line with inactive PTEN. PTEN-regulated genes were disproportionately represented among genes altered in human prostate cancer progression and metastasis but not among those associated with tumorigenesis. From the former set, we identified two novel putative PTEN targets, cdc6 and cyclin E2, which were overexpressed in metastatic human prostate cancer and up-regulated as a function of PTEN depletion in poorly metastatic DU145 human prostate cancer cells harboring a wild type PTEN. Inhibition of cdc6 and cyclin E2 levels as a consequence of PTEN expression was associated with cell cycle G(1) arrest, whereas use of PTEN activity mutants revealed that regulation of these genes was dependent on PTEN lipid phosphatase activity. Computational and promoter-reporter evaluations implicated the E2F transcription factor in PTEN regulation of cdc6 and cyclin E2 expression. Our results suggest a hypothetical model whereby PTEN loss upregulates cell cycle genes such as cdc6 and cyclin E2 that in turn promote metastatic colonization at distant sites.
Project description:Metastatic prostate cancer commonly presents with targeted, bi-allelic mutations of the PTEN and TP53 tumor suppressor genes. In contrast, however, most candidate tumor suppressors are part of large recurrent hemizygous deletions, such as the common chromosome 16q deletion, which involves the AKT-suppressing phosphatase PHLPP2. Using RapidCaP, a genetically engineered mouse model of Pten/Trp53 mutant metastatic prostate cancer, we found that complete loss of Phlpp2 paradoxically blocks prostate tumor growth and disease progression. Surprisingly, we find that Phlpp2 is essential for supporting Myc, a key driver of lethal prostate cancer. Phlpp2 dephosphorylates threonine-58 of Myc, which renders it a limiting positive regulator of Myc stability. Furthermore, we show that small-molecule inhibitors of PHLPP2 can suppress MYC and kill PTEN mutant cells. Our findings reveal that the frequent hemizygous deletions on chromosome 16q present a druggable vulnerability for targeting MYC protein through PHLPP2 phosphatase inhibitors.
Project description:The transcriptional coactivator SRC-3 plays a key role in enhancing prostate cancer cell proliferation. Although SRC-3 is highly expressed in advanced prostate cancer, its role in castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) driven by PTEN mutation is unknown. We documented elevated SRC-3 in human CRPC and in PTEN-negative human prostate cancer. Patients with high SRC-3 and undetectable PTEN exhibited decreased recurrence-free survival. To explore the causal relationship in these observations, we generated mice in which both Pten and SRC-3 were inactivated in prostate epithelial cells (Pten3CKO mice), comparing them with mice in which only Pten was inactivated in these cells (PtenCKO mice). SRC-3 deletion impaired cellular proliferation and reduced tumor size. Notably, while castration of PtenCKO control mice increased the aggressiveness of prostate tumors relative to noncastrated counterparts, deletion of SRC-3 in Pten3CKO mice reversed all these changes. In support of this finding, castrated Pten3CKO mice also exhibited decreased levels of phospho-Akt, S6 kinase (RPS6KB1), and phosphorylated S6 protein (RPS6), all of which mediate cell growth and proliferation. Moreover, these tumors appeared to be more differentiated as evidenced by higher levels of Fkbp5, an AR-responsive gene that inhibits Akt signaling. Lastly, these tumors also displayed lower levels of certain androgen-repressed genes such as cyclin E2 and MMP10. Together, our results show that SRC-3 drives CRPC formation and offer preclinical proof of concept for a transcriptional coactivator as a therapeutic target to abrogate CRPC progression.
Project description:Phosphatase and tensin homologue deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN) is a well-characterized tumour-suppressor gene that is lost or mutated in about half of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancers and in many other human cancers. The restoration of functional PTEN as a treatment for prostate cancer has, however, proven difficult. Here, we show that PTEN messenger RNA (mRNA) can be reintroduced into PTEN-null prostate cancer cells in vitro and in vivo via its encapsulation in polymer-lipid hybrid nanoparticles coated with a polyethylene glycol shell. The nanoparticles are stable in serum, elicit low toxicity and enable high PTEN mRNA transfection in prostate cancer cells. Moreover, significant inhibition of tumour growth is achieved when delivered systemically in multiple mouse models of prostate cancer. We also show that the restoration of PTEN function in PTEN-null prostate cancer cells inhibits the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)-AKT pathway and enhances apoptosis. Our findings provide proof-of-principle evidence of the restoration of mRNA-based tumour suppression in vivo.
Project description:Advanced prostate cancer (PCa) is a clinical challenge as no curative therapeutic is available. In this context, a better understanding of metastasis and resistance mechanisms in PCa is an important issue. As phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) loss is the most common genetic lesion in such cancer, we investigate human data sets for mechanisms that can constrain cancer evolution in this setting. Here we report a liver X receptor (LXR) signature, which tightly correlates with PTEN loss, in PCa. Accordingly, the LXR pathway is deregulated in prostate carcinomas in Pten-null mice. Genetic ablation of LXRs in Pten-null mice, exacerbates PCa invasiveness and metastatic dissemination, which involves mesenchymal transition and accumulation of matrix metalloproteinases. Mechanistically, PTEN deletion governed LXR transcriptional activity through deregulation of cholesterol de novo synthesis, resulting in accumulation of endogenous LXR ligands. Our study therefore reveals a functional circuit linking PTEN and LXR, and highlights LXRs as metabolic gatekeepers that are able to constrain PCa progression.Treatment of prostate cancer, especially in its advanced stage, is still challenging; therefore, strategies to prevent metastatic dissemination are of great interest. Here the authors reveal a crucial role for liver X receptors in suppressing prostate carcinogenesis and metastatic progression in PTEN-null tumors.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Phosphatase and tensin homologue (PTEN), as a tumor suppressor, plays vital roles in tumorigenesis and progression of prostate cancer. However, the mechanisms of PTEN regulation still need further investigation. We here report that a combination of four microRNAs (miR-19b, miR-23b, miR-26a and miR-92a) promotes prostate cell proliferation by regulating PTEN and its downstream signals in vitro.<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>We found that the four microRNAs (miRNAs) could effectively suppress PTEN expression by directly interacting with its 3' UTR in prostate epithelial and cancer cells. Under-expression of the four miRNAs by antisense neutralization up-regulates PTEN expression, while overexpression of the four miRNAs accelerates epithelial and prostate cancer cell proliferation. Furthermore, the expression of the four miRNAs could, singly or jointly, alter the expression of the key components in the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt pathway, including PIK3CA, PIK3CD, PIK3R1 and Akt, along with their downstream signal, cyclin D1.<h4>Conclusions</h4>These results suggested that the four miRNAs could promote prostate cancer cell proliferation by co-regulating the expression of PTEN, PI3K/Akt pathway and cyclin D1 in vitro. These findings increase understanding of the molecular mechanisms of prostate carcinogenesis and progression, even provide valuable insights into the diagnosis, prognosis, and rational design of novel therapeutics for prostate cancer.
Project description:The link between ERG rearrangement and PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10) deletion is unclear in prostate cancer progression. Using fluorescence in situ hybridization, we systematically validated the frequency and distribution of ERG and PTEN aberrations in a cohort of 73 benign prostate tissues, 59 high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (HGPIN) foci, 281 localized prostate cancer and 47 androgen-independent metastatic prostate cancer patients. Overall, ERG rearrangement was present in 15% (5/33) of HGPIN, 45% (121/267) of localized cancers and 35% (15/43) of metastases. By contrast, PTEN deletion was identified in 9% (3/33) of HGPIN, 17% (42/251) of localized cancers and 54% (22/41) of metastases, of which 0%, 40% (17/42) and 45% (10/22) were homozygous, respectively. Concomitance of ERG rearrangement and PTEN deletion was observed in a subset of HGPIN. Significantly, association between PTEN deletion and ERG rearrangement was present both in localized cancers (P=0.0008) and metastases (P=0.02). Further, immunohistochemistry revealed significant correlation of decreased PTEN protein expression with PTEN genomic deletion both in localized and metastatic cancer. Of note, ERG aberration, but not PTEN deletion, was consistently identical both in localized cancer and adjacent HGPIN. Similarly, whereas all metastases (41/41, 100%) shared the same ERG status across multiple sites from the same patient, 5% (2/41) of cases showed discordance for PTEN deletion status across multiple sites. Collectively, our data support PTEN deletion as a late genetic event in human prostate cancer, presumably a 'second hit' after ERG rearrangement. PTEN deletion and ERG rearrangement may cooperate, but contribute at different stages, in prostate cancer progression.
Project description:We have recently recapitulated metastasis of human PTEN/TP53-mutant prostate cancer in the mouse using the RapidCaP system. Surprisingly, we found that this metastasis is driven by MYC, and not AKT, activation. Here, we show that cell-cell communication by IL6 drives the AKT-MYC switch through activation of the AKT-suppressing phosphatase PHLPP2, when PTEN and p53 are lost together, but not separately. IL6 then communicates a downstream program of STAT3-mediated MYC activation, which drives cell proliferation. Similarly, in tissues, peak proliferation in Pten/Trp53-mutant primary and metastatic prostate cancer does not correlate with activated AKT, but with STAT3/MYC activation instead. Mechanistically, MYC strongly activates the AKT phosphatase PHLPP2 in primary cells and prostate cancer metastasis. We show genetically that Phlpp2 is essential for dictating the proliferation of MYC-mediated AKT suppression. Collectively, our data reveal competition between two proto-oncogenes, MYC and AKT, which ensnarls the Phlpp2 gene to facilitate MYC-driven prostate cancer metastasis after loss of Pten and Trp53.Our data identify IL6 detection as a potential causal biomarker for MYC-driven metastasis after loss of PTEN and p53. Second, our finding that MYC then must supersede AKT to drive cell proliferation points to MYC inhibition as a critical part of PI3K pathway therapy in lethal prostate cancer.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Primary prostate cancers are infiltrated with programmed death-1 (PD-1) expressing CD8+ T-cells. However, in early clinical trials, men with metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer did not respond to PD-1 blockade as a monotherapy. One explanation for this unresponsiveness could be that prostate tumors generally do not express programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1), the primary ligand for PD-1. However, lack of PD-L1 expression in prostate cancer would be surprising, given that phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) loss is relatively common in prostate cancer and several studies have shown that PTEN loss correlates with PD-L1 upregulation--constituting a mechanism of innate immune resistance. This study tested whether prostate cancer cells were capable of expressing PD-L1, and whether the rare PD-L1 expression that occurs in human specimens correlates with PTEN loss. METHODS:Human prostate cancer cell lines were evaluated for PD-L1 expression and loss of PTEN by flow cytometry and western blotting, respectively. Immunohistochemical (IHC) staining for PTEN was correlated with PD-L1 IHC using a series of resected human prostate cancer samples. RESULTS:In vitro, many prostate cancer cell lines upregulated PD-L1 expression in response to inflammatory cytokines, consistent with adaptive immune resistance. In these cell lines, no association between PTEN loss and PD-L1 expression was apparent. In primary prostate tumors, PD-L1 expression was rare, and was not associated with PTEN loss. CONCLUSIONS:These studies show that some prostate cancer cell lines are capable of expressing PD-L1. However, in human prostate cancer, PTEN loss is not associated with PD-L1 expression, arguing against innate immune resistance as a mechanism that mitigates antitumor immune responses in this disease.
Project description:Mutations in phosphatase and tensin homologue (PTEN) or genomic alterations in the phosphatidylinositol-3-OH kinase-signalling pathway are the most common genetic alterations reported in human prostate cancer. However, the precise mechanism underlying how indolent tumours with PTEN alterations acquire metastatic potential remains poorly understood. Recent studies suggest that upregulation of transforming growth factor (TGF)-? signalling triggered by PTEN loss will form a growth barrier as a defence mechanism to constrain prostate cancer progression, underscoring that TGF-? signalling might represent a pre-invasive checkpoint to prevent PTEN-mediated prostate tumorigenesis. Here we show that COUP transcription factor II (COUP-TFII, also known as NR2F2), a member of the nuclear receptor superfamily, serves as a key regulator to inhibit SMAD4-dependent transcription, and consequently overrides the TGF-?-dependent checkpoint for PTEN-null indolent tumours. Overexpression of COUP-TFII in the mouse prostate epithelium cooperates with PTEN deletion to augment malignant progression and produce an aggressive metastasis-prone tumour. The functional counteraction between COUP-TFII and SMAD4 is reinforced by genetically engineered mouse models in which conditional loss of SMAD4 diminishes the inhibitory effects elicited by COUP-TFII ablation. The biological significance of COUP-TFII in prostate carcinogenesis is substantiated by patient sample analysis, in which COUP-TFII expression or activity is tightly correlated with tumour recurrence and disease progression, whereas it is inversely associated with TGF-? signalling. These findings reveal that the destruction of the TGF-?-dependent barrier by COUP-TFII is crucial for the progression of PTEN-mutant prostate cancer into a life-threatening disease, and supports COUP-TFII as a potential drug target for the intervention of metastatic human prostate cancer.
Project description:Improved clinical management of prostate cancer has been impeded by an inadequate understanding of molecular genetic elements governing tumor progression. Gene signatures have provided improved prognostic indicators of human prostate cancer. The TGF-?/BMP-SMAD4 signaling pathway, which induces epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), is known to constrain prostate cancer progression induced by Pten deletion. Herein, cyclin D1 inactivation reduced cellular proliferation in the murine prostate in vivo and in isogenic oncogene-transformed prostate cancer cell lines. The in vivo cyclin D1-mediated molecular signature predicted poor outcome of recurrence-free survival for patients with prostate cancer (K-means HR, 3.75, P = 0.02) and demonstrated that endogenous cyclin D1 restrains TGF-?, Snail, Twist, and Goosecoid signaling. Endogenous cyclin D1 enhanced Wnt and ES cell gene expression and expanded a prostate stem cell population. In chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing, cyclin D1 occupied genes governing stem cell expansion and induced their transcription. The coordination of EMT restraining and stem cell expanding gene expression by cyclin D1 in the prostate may contribute to its strong prognostic value for poor outcome in biochemical-free recurrence in human prostate cancer.