Cancer cell international

Inverse baseline expression pattern of the NEP/neuropeptides and NFκB/proteasome pathways in androgen-dependent and androgen-independent prostate cancer cells.

PMID 21569620


Castration-resistance in prostate cancer (PC) is a critical event hallmarking a switch to a more aggressive phenotype. Neuroendocrine differentiation and upregulation of NFκB transcriptional activity are two mechanisms that have been independently linked to this process. We investigated these two pathways together using in vitro models of androgen-dependent (AD) and androgen-independent (AI) PC. We measured cellular levels, activity and surface expression of Neutral Endopeptidase (NEP), levels of secreted Endothelin-1 (ET-1), levels, sub-cellular localisation and DNA binding ability of NFκB, and proteasomal activity in human native PC cell lines (LnCaP and PC-3) modelling AD and AI states. At baseline, AD cells were found to have high NEP expression and activity and low secreted ET-1. In contrast, they exhibited a low-level activation of the NFκB pathway associated with comparatively low 20S proteasome activity. The AI cells showed the exact mirror image, namely increased proteasomal activity resulting in a canonical pathway-mediated NFκB activation, and minimal NEP activity with increased levels of secreted ET-1. Our results seem to support evidence for divergent patterns of expression of the NFκB/proteasome pathway with relation to components of the NEP/neuropeptide axis in PC cells of different level of androgen dependence. NEP and ET-1 are inversely and directly related to an activated state of the NFκB/proteasome pathway, respectively. A combination therapy targeting both pathways may ultimately prove to be of benefit in clinical practice.