Atorvastatin prevents ATP-driven invasiveness via P2X7 and EHBP1 signaling in PTEN-expressing prostate cancer cells.

PMID 24451147


Epidemiological studies indicate that statins, cholesterol-lowering drugs, prevent aggressive prostate cancer and other types of cancer. Employing essentially non-prostate cell lines, we previously showed that statins rapidly downregulate nuclear levels of phosphorylated Akt via P2X7, a purinergic receptor recently implicated in invasive growth. Here, we present studies on phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN)-positive prostatic cells. We document an involvement of EH domain-binding protein 1 (EHBP1), previously associated with aggressive prostate cancer and insulin-stimulated trafficking and cell migration, in P2X7 signaling. We also show that EHBP1 is essential for an anti-invasive effect of atorvastatin. Furthermore, EHBP1 interacted with P-Rex1, a guanine nucleotide exchange factor previously implicated in invasive growth. Mevalonate did not prevent this anti-invasive effect of atorvastatin. These data indicate that atorvastatin modulates invasiveness via P2X7, EHBP1 and P-Rex1. Interestingly, the interaction between EHBP1 and P-Rex1 was not induced by extracellular adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the endogenous P2X7 ligand, and statins counteracted invasiveness stimulated by extracellular ATP. In support of these experimental data, a population-based genetic analysis showed that a loss of function allele in the P2X7 gene (rs3751143) associated with non-aggressive cancer, and the common allele with aggressive cancer. Our data indicate a novel signaling pathway that inhibits invasiveness and that is druggable. Statins may reduce the risk of aggressive prostate cancer via P2X7 and by counteracting invasive effects of extracellular ATP.