Molecular mechanisms of prostatic carcinoma growth and progression

Chuan Gao, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Prostate cancer represents the most commonly diagnosed malignancies in American men and is the second leading cause of male cancer deaths. The overall objectives of this research were designed to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms of prostatic carcinoma growth and progression. This dissertation was divided into two major parts: (1) to clone and characterize soluble factor(s) associated with bone that may mediate prostatic carcinoma growth and progression; (2) to investigate the roles of extracellular matrix in prostatic carcinogenesis. The propensity of prostate cancer cells to metastasize to the axial skeleton and the subsequent osteoblastic reactions observed in the bone indicate the possible reciprocal cellular interaction between prostate cancer cells and the bone microenvironment. To understand the molecular and cellular basis of this interaction, I focused on the identification and cloning of soluble factor(s) from bone stromal cells that may exert direct mitogenic action on cultured prostate cells. A novel BPGF-1 gene expressed specifically by bone and male accessory sex organs (prostate, seminal vesicles, and coagulating gland) was identified and cloned. The BPGF-1 was identified and cloned from a cDNA expression library prepared from a human bone stromal cell line, MS. The conditioned medium (CM) of this cell line contains mitogenic materials that induce human prostate cancer cell growth both in vivo and in vitro. The cDNA expression library was screened by an antibody prepared against the mitogenic fraction of the CM. The cloned BPGF-1 cDNA comprises 3171 nucleotides with a single open reading frame of 1620 nucleotides encoding 540 amino acids. The BPGF-1 gene encodes two transcripts (3.3 and 2.5 kb) with approximately equal intensity in human cells and tissues, but only one transcript (2.5 kb) in rat and mouse tissues. Southern blot analysis of human genomic DNA revealed a single BPGF-1 gene. The BPGF-1 gene is expressed predominantly in bone and seminal vesicles, but at a substantially lower level in prostate. Polyclonal antibodies generated from synthetic peptides that correspond to the nucleotide sequences of the cloned BPGF-1 cDNA reacted with a putative BPGF-1 protein with an apparent molecular weight of 70 kDa. The conditioned media isolated from COS cells transfected with BPGF-1 cDNA stimulated the proliferation and increased the anchorage-independent growth of prostate epithelial cells. These findings led us to hypothesize that BPGF-1 expression in relevant organs, such as prostate, seminal vesicles, and bone, may lead to local prostate cancer growth, metastasis to the seminal vesicles, and subsequently dissemination to the skeleton. To assess the importance of extracellular matrix in prostatic carcinogenesis, the role of extracellular matrix in induction of rat prostatic carcinoma growth in vivo was evaluated. NbE-1, a nontumorigenic rat prostatic epithelial cell line, was induced to form carcinoma in athymic nude hosts by coinjecting them with Matrigel and selected extracellular matrix components. Induction of prostatic tumor formation by laminin and collagen IV was inhibited by their respective antibodies. Prostatic epithelial cells cloned from the tumor tissues were found to form tumors in athymic nude hosts in the absence of exogenously added extracellular matrix. These results suggest that extracellular matrix induce irreversibly prostatic epithelial cells that behave distinctively different from the parental prostatic epithelial cell line.

Subject Area

Molecular biology|Pathology|Cellular biology

Recommended Citation

Gao, Chuan, "Molecular mechanisms of prostatic carcinoma growth and progression" (1993). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9532502.