The characterization of PKC-isozyme specific EGFR-dependent Erk1/2 activation in androgen-independent prostate cancer cell lines

Jubilee Ruth Stewart, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


One growth factor receptor commonly altered during prostate tumor progression is the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). EGFR signaling regulates Erk1/2 phosphorylation through multiple mechanisms. We hypothesized that PKC isozymes play a role in EGFR-dependent signaling, and that through PKC isozyme selective inhibition, EGFR-dependent Erk1/2 activation can be attenuated in AICaP cells. To test the hypothesis, PKC activation was induced by 12-O-tetradecanoyi-phorbol-13-acetate (TPA) in PC-3 cells. As a result, Erk1/2 was activated similarly to what was observed upon EGF stimulation. EGF-induced Erk1/2 activation in PC-3 cells was PKC-dependent, as demonstrated through use of a selective PKC inhibitor, GF109203X. This provides evidence for PKC regulatory control over Erk1/2 signaling downstream of EGFR. Next, we demonstrated that when PKC was inhibited by GF109203X, EGF-stimulated Erk1/2 activation was inhibited in PC-3, but not DU145 cells. TPA-stimulated Erk1/2 activation was EGFR-dependent in both DU145 and PC-3 cells, demonstrated through abrogation of Erk1/2 activation by a selective EGFR inhibitor AG1478. These data support PKC control at or upstream of EGFR in AICaP cells. We observed that interfering with ligand/EGFR binding abrogated Erk1/2 signaling in TPA-stimulated cells, revealing a role for PKC upstream of EGFR. Next, we determined which PKC isozymes might be responsible for Erk1/2 regulation. We first determined that human AICaP cell lines express the same PKC isozymes as those observed in clinical prostate cancer specimens (α, ϵ, &zgr;, ι and PKD). Isozyme-selective methods were employed to characterize discrete PKC isozyme function in EGFR-dependent Erk1/2 activation. Pharmacologic inhibitors implicated PKCα in TPA-induced EGFR-dependent Erk1/2 activation in both PC-3 and DU145 cells. Further, the cPKC-specific inhibitor, Gö6976 decreased viablilty of DU145 cells, providing evidence that PKCα is necessary for growth and survival. Finally, resveratrol, a phytochemical with strong cancer therapeutic potential inhibited Erk1/2 activation, and this correlated with selective inhibition of PKCα. These results demonstrate that PKC regulates pathways critical to progression of CaP cells, including those mediated by EGFR. Thus, PKC isozyme-selective targeting is an attractive therapeutic strategy, and understanding the role of specific PKC isozymes in CaP cell growth and survival may aid in development of effective, non-toxic PKC-targeted therapies.

Subject Area

Cellular biology

Recommended Citation

Stewart, Jubilee Ruth, "The characterization of PKC-isozyme specific EGFR-dependent Erk1/2 activation in androgen-independent prostate cancer cell lines" (2004). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3138888.