Transformation studies of a nontumorigenic rat prostatic epithelial cell line with activated myc andneu oncogenes

Robert Allen Sikes, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


A cloned nontumorigenic prostatic epithelial cell line, NbE-1.4, isolated from Noble (nbl/crx) rat ventral prostate, was used to examine the potential role of activated myc and neu oncogenes in prostate carcinogenesis. Transfection of SV40 promoter/enhancer driven constructs containing either v-myc, truncated c-myc, or neu-T (activated neu) oncogenes was accomplished using calcium phosphate-mediated DNA transfer. Cells were cotransfected, as necessary, with pSV2neo, allowing for selection of positive clones using the antibiotic geneticin (G418). G418 resistant colonies were pooled in some cases or limiting dilution exclusion cloned in others as described. Transfection of NbE-1.4 cells with activated myc oncogenes resulted only in the partial transformation. These cells display an altered morphology and decreased dependence on serum factors in vitro; however, saturation density, soft agar colony formation and growth assay in male athymic nude mice were all negative. Transfection and overexpression of NbE-1.4 cells with an activated neu oncogene alone resulted in tumorigenic conversion. Cell transformation was evident following an examination of the altered cellular morphology, an increased soft agar colony formation, and an acquisition of a tumorigenic potential when injected s.c. into male athymic nude mice. neu-transformed NbE-1.4 cells displayed elevated activity of the neu receptor tyrosine kinase. Furthermore, qualitative changes in tyrosine phosphorylated proteins were found in neu transformed cell clones. These changes were associated with elevated expression of mRNAs for laminin $\beta$1, $\beta$2, and procollagen type IV. The expression of fibronectin and E-cadherin, which are often lost during tumorigenesis, did not correlate with the tumorigenic phenotype. Therefore, it appears that neu oncogene overexpression has been found to be associated with the transformation of rat prostatic epithelial cells, presumably through alterations in gene expression that regulate extracellular matrix. The possible interrelationship and functional significance between neu oncogene expression and the elevated extracellular matrix gene expression is discussed.

Subject Area

Molecular biology|Cellular biology

Recommended Citation

Sikes, Robert Allen, "Transformation studies of a nontumorigenic rat prostatic epithelial cell line with activated myc andneu oncogenes" (1993). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9324941.