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EpCAM is overexpressed in local and metastatic prostate cancer, suppressed by chemotherapy and modulated by MET-associated miRNA-200c/205.

British journal of cancer (2014-07-06)
P Massoner, T Thomm, B Mack, G Untergasser, A Martowicz, K Bobowski, H Klocker, O Gires, M Puhr
ABSTRACT

Expression of epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM) is deregulated in epithelial malignancies. Beside its role in cell adhesion, EpCAM acts as signalling molecule with tumour-promoting functions. Thus, EpCAM is part of the molecular network of oncogenic receptors and considered an interesting therapeutic target. Here, we thoroughly characterised EpCAM expression on mRNA and protein level in comprehensive tissue studies including non-cancerous prostate specimens, primary tumours of different grades and stages, metastatic lesions, and therapy-treated tumour specimens, as well as in prostate cancer cell lines. Epithelial cell adhesion molecule was overexpressed at mRNA and at protein level in prostate cancer tissues and cell lines. Altered EpCAM expression was an early event in prostate carcinogenesis with an upregulation in low-grade cancers and further induction in high-grade tumours and metastatic lesions. Interestingly, EpCAM was repressed upon induction of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) following chemotherapeutic treatment with docetaxel. Oppositely, re-induction of the epithelial phenotype through miRNAs miR-200c and miR-205, two inducers of mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition (MET), led to re-induction of EpCAM in chemoresistant cells. Furthermore, we prove that EpCAM cleavage, the first step of EpCAM signalling takes place in prostate cancer cells but in contrast to other cancer entities, EpCAM has no measurable impact on the proliferative behaviour of prostate cells, in vitro. In conclusion, our data confirm that EpCAM overexpression is an early event during prostate cancer progression. Epithelial cell adhesion molecule displays a dynamic, heterogeneous expression and associates with epithelial cells rather than mesenchymal, chemoresistant cells along with processes of EMT and MET.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

Sigma-Aldrich
MOPS, ≥99.5% (titration)
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SAFC
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USP
Docetaxel, United States Pharmacopeia (USP) Reference Standard
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