Erythropoietin (Epo) is used in clinical settings to enhance hematopoietic function and to improve the quality of life for patients undergoing chemotherapy by reducing fatigue and the need for transfusions. However, several meta-analyses have revealed that Epo treatments are associated with an increased risk of mortality in cancer patients. In this study, we examined the role of Epo in prostate cancer (PCa) progression, using in vitro cell culture systems and in vivo bone metastatic assays. We found that Epo did not stimulate the proliferation of PCa cell lines, but did protect PCa cells from apoptosis. In animal models of PCa metastasis, no evidence was found to support the hypothesis that Epo enhances metastasis. Together, these findings suggest that Epo may be useful for treating severe anemia in PCa patients without increasing metastatic risk.
PROSTATE; CANCER; ERYTHROPOIETIN; TUMOR; GROWTH; METASTASIS
Expression of parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) correlates with prostate cancer skeletal progression; however, the impact of prostate cancer-derived PTHrP on the microenvironment and osteoblastic lesions in skeletal metastasis has not been completely elucidated. In this study, PTHrP overexpressing prostate cancer clones were stably established by transfection of full length rat PTHrP cDNA. Expression and secretion of PTHrP were verified by western blotting and IRMA assay. PTHrP overexpressing prostate cancer cells had higher growth rates in vitro, and generated larger tumors when inoculated subcutaneously into athymic mice. The impact of tumor-derived PTHrP on bone was investigated using a vossicle co-implant model. Histology revealed increased bone mass adjacent to PTHrP overexpressing tumor foci, with increased osteoblastogenesis, osteoclastogenesis and angiogenesis. In vitro analysis demonstrated pro-osteoclastic and pro-osteoblastic effects of PTHrP. PTHrP enhanced proliferation of bone marrow stromal cells and early osteoblast differentiation. PTHrP exerted a pro-angiogenic effect indirectly, as it increased angiogenesis but only in the presence of bone marrow stromal cells. These data suggest PTHrP plays a role in tumorigenesis in prostate cancer, and that PTHrP is a key mediator for communication and interactions between prostate cancer and the bone microenvironment. Prostate cancer-derived PTHrP is actively involved in osteoblastic skeletal progression.
parathyroid hormone-related protein; PTHrP; skeletal metastasis; prostate carcinoma; angiogenesis
Androgen receptor (AR) is a ligand-dependent transcription factor that plays a key role in prostate cancer. Little is known about the nature of AR cis-regulatory sites in the human genome. We have mapped the AR binding regions on two chromosomes in human prostate cancer cells by combining chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) with tiled oligonucleotide microarrays. We find that the majority of AR binding regions contain noncanonical AR-responsive elements (AREs). Importantly, we identify a noncanonical ARE as a cis-regulatory target of AR action in TMPRSS2, a gene fused to ETS transcription factors in the majority of prostate cancers. In addition, through the presence of enriched DNA-binding motifs, we find other transcription factors including GATA2 and Oct1 that cooperate in mediating the androgen response. These collaborating factors, together with AR, form a regulatory hierarchy that governs androgen-dependent gene expression and prostate cancer growth and offer potential new opportunities for therapeutic intervention.
Advanced prostate cancer (PCa) commonly metastasizes to bone, but transit of malignant cells across the bone marrow endothelium (BMEC) remains a poorly understood step in metastasis. PCa cells roll on E-selectin+ BMEC through E-selectin ligand-binding interactions under shear flow, and PCa cells exhibit firm adhesion to BMEC via β1, β4 and αVβ3 integrins in static assays. However, whether these discrete PCa cell-BMEC adhesive contacts culminate in cooperative, step-wise transendothelial migration into bone is not known. Herein, we describe how metastatic PCa cells breach BMEC monolayers in a step-wise fashion under physiologic hemodynamic flow. PCa cells tethered and rolled on BMEC and then firmly adhered to and traversed BMEC via sequential dependence on E-selectin ligands and β1 and αVβ3 integrins. Expression analysis in human metastatic PCa tissue revealed that β1 was markedly upregulated compared with expression of other β subunits. PCa cell breaching was regulated by Rac1 and Rap1 GTPases and, notably, did not require exogenous chemokines as β1, αVβ3, Rac1 and Rap1 were constitutively active. In homing studies, PCa cell trafficking to murine femurs was dependent on E-selectin ligand, β1 integrin and Rac1. Moreover, eliminating E-selectin ligand-synthesizing α1,3 fucosyltransferases (α1,3 FT) in transgenic adenoma of mouse prostate (TRAMP) mice dramatically reduced PCa incidence. These results unify the requirement for E-selectin ligands, α1,3 fucosyltransferases, β1 and αVβ3 integrins and Rac/Rap1 GTPases in mediating PCa cell homing and entry into bone and offer new insight on the role of α1,3 fucosylation in PCa development.
fucosyltransferases; integrins; prostate cancer; E-selectin; homing
Metastatic prostate cancer is an incurable disease. During the development of this disease, prostate cancer cells enter the bloodstream as single cells or clusters of cells. Prostate fibroblasts, a cancer-promoting cell type in the prostate cancer microenvironment, could in theory incorporate into these migrating cell clusters or follow cancer cells into the bloodstream through holes in the tumor vasculature. Based on this idea, we hypothesized that fibroblast-like cells, defined here as cytokeratin 8/18/19−/DAPI+/CD45−/vimentin+ cells, are present in the blood of men with metastatic prostate cancer.
Veridex’s CellSearch® System was used to immunomagnetically capture EpCAM+ cells and clusters of cells heterogeneous for EpCAM expression from the blood of men with metastatic prostate cancer, localized cancer, and no known cancer, and immunostain them for the presence of cytokeratins 8/18/19, a nucleus, CD45, and vimentin. Fibroblast-like cells were then quantified.
Fibroblast-like cells were present in 58.3% of men with metastatic prostate cancer but not in any men with localized prostate cancer or no known cancer. The presence of these cells correlated with certain known indicators of poor prognosis: ≥5 circulating tumor cells, defined here as cytokeratin 8/18/19+/DAPI+/CD45− cells, per 7.5 mL of blood, and a relatively high serum prostate-specific antigen level of ≥20 ng/mL.
The presence of fibroblast-like cells in the blood may provide prognostic information as well as information about the biology of metastatic prostate cancer.
metastasis; blood; vimentin
The mechanisms that regulate hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) dormancy and self-renewal are well established and are largely dependent on signals emanating from the HSC niche. Recently, we found that prostate cancer (PCa) cells target the HSC niche in mouse bone marrow (BM) during metastasis. Little is known, however, as to how the HSC niche may regulate dormancy in cancer cells. In this study, we investigated the effects of TANK binding kinase 1 (TBK1) on PCa dormancy in the BM niche. We found that binding with niche osteoblasts induces the expression of TBK1 in PCa cells PC3 and C4-2B. Interestingly, TBK1 interacts with mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and inhibits its function. Rapamycin, an mTOR inhibitor, induces cell cycle arrest of PCa cells and enhances chemotherapeutic resistance of PCa cells. As a result, the knockdown of TBK1 decreases PCa stem-like cells and drug resistance in vitro and in vivo. Taken together, these results strongly indicate that TBK1 plays an important role in the dormancy and drug resistance of PCa.
We have examined whether Ad.sTβRFc and TAd.sTβRFc, two oncolytic viruses expressing soluble transforming growth factor-β receptor II fused with human Fc (sTGFβRIIFc), can be developed to treat bone metastasis of prostate cancer. Incubation of PC-3 and DU-145 prostate tumor cells with Ad.sTβRFc and TAd.sTβRFc produced sTGFβRIIFc and viral replication; sTGFβRIIFc caused inhibition of TGF-β-mediated SMAD2 and SMAD3 phosphorylation. Ad(E1-).sTβRFc, an E1– adenovirus, produced sTGFβRIIFc but failed to replicate in tumor cells. To examine the antitumor response of adenoviral vectors, PC-3-luc cells were injected into the left heart ventricle of nude mice. On day 9, mice were subjected to whole-body bioluminescence imaging (BLI). Mice bearing hind-limb tumors were administered viral vectors via the tail vein on days 10, 13, and 17 (2.5×1010 viral particles per injection per mouse, each injection in a 0.1-ml volume), and subjected to BLI and X-ray radiography weekly until day 53. Ad.sTβRFc, TAd.sTβRFc, and Ad(E1-).sTβRFc caused significant inhibition of tumor growth; however, Ad.sTβRFc was the most effective among all the vectors. Only Ad.sTβRFc and TAd.sTβRFc inhibited tumor-induced hypercalcemia. Histomorphometric and synchrotron micro-computed tomographic analysis of isolated bones indicated that Ad.sTβRFc induced significant reduction in tumor burden, osteoclast number, and trabecular and cortical bone destruction. These studies suggest that Ad.sTβRFc and TAd.sTβRFc can be developed as potential new therapies for prostate cancer bone metastasis.
Hu and colleagues examine the effects of systemic administrations of oncolytic viruses expressing soluble transforming growth factor-β receptor II fused with human Fc (Ad.sTβRFc and TAd.sTβRFc) in a mouse model of prostate cancer bone metastasis. They show that infection of prostate tumor cells with these vectors leads to production of sTGFβRIIFc protein and that intravenous injection of Ad.sTβRFc and TAd.sTβRFc causes inhibition of skeletal tumor growth and tumor-induced hypercalcemia in vivo.
A 44-year old woman with recurrent solitary fibrous tumor (SFT)/hemangiopericytoma was enrolled in a clinical sequencing program including whole exome and transcriptome sequencing. A gene fusion of the transcriptional repressor NAB2 with the transcriptional activator STAT6 was detected. Transcriptome sequencing of 27 additional SFTs all revealed the presence of a NAB2-STAT6 gene fusion. Using RT-PCR and sequencing, we detected this fusion in 51 of 51 SFTs, indicating high levels of recurrence. Expression of NAB2-STAT6 fusion proteins was confirmed in SFT, and the predicted fusion products harbor the early growth response (EGR)-binding domain of NAB2 fused to the activation domain of STAT6. Overexpression of the NAB2-STAT6 gene fusion induced proliferation in cultured cells and activated EGR-responsive genes. These studies establish NAB2-STAT6 as the defining driver mutation of SFT and provide an example of how neoplasia can be initiated by converting a transcriptional repressor of mitogenic pathways into a transcriptional activator.
Tumors recruit mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to facilitate healing, which induces their conversion into cancer-associated fibroblasts that facilitate metastasis. However, this process is poorly understood on the molecular level. Here we show that the CXCR6 ligand CXCL16 facilitates MSC or Very Small Embryonic-Like (VSEL) cells recruitment into prostate tumors. CXCR6 signaling stimulates the conversion of MSCs into cancer-associated fibroblasts, which secrete stromal-derived factor-1, also known as CXCL12. CXCL12 expressed by cancer-associated fibroblasts then binds to CXCR4 on tumor cells and induces an epithelial to mesenchymal transition, which ultimately promotes metastasis to secondary tumor sites. Our results provide the molecular basis for MSC recruitment into tumors and how this process leads to tumor metastasis.
Translational research encompasses the effective movement of new knowledge and discoveries into new approaches for prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease. There are many roadblocks to successful bench to bedside research, but few have received as much recent attention as the “valley of death”. The valley of death refers to the lack of funding and support for research that moves basic science discoveries into diagnostics, devices, and treatments in humans, and is ascribed to be the result of companies unwilling to fund research development that may not result in a drug or device that will be utilized in the clinic and conversely, the fact that researchers have no access to the funding needed to carry out preclinical and early clinical development to demonstrate potential efficacy in humans. The valley of death also exists because bridging the translational gap is dependent on successfully managing an additional four risks: Scientific, Intellectual Property, Market, and Regulatory. The University of Michigan (UM) has partnered with the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation (CF) to create a model providing an infrastructure to overcome these risks. This model is easily adoptable to other academic medical centers.
Prostate cancer continues to be a major cause of morbidity and mortality in men around the world. The field of prostate cancer research continues to be hindered by the lack of relevant preclinical models to study tumorigenesis and to further development of effective prevention and therapeutic strategies. The Prostate Cancer Foundation held a Prostate Cancer Models Working Group (PCMWG) Summit on August 6th and 7th, 2007 to address these issues. The PCMWG reviewed the state of prostate cancer preclinical models and identified the current limitations of cell line, xenograft and genetically engineered mouse models that have hampered the transition of scientific findings from these models to human clinical trials. In addition the PCMWG identified administrative issues that inhibit the exchange of models and impede greater interactions between academic centers and these centers with industry. The PCMWG identified potential solutions for discovery bottlenecks that include: (1) insufficient number of models with insufficient molecular and biologic diversity to reflect human cancer, (2) a lack of understanding of the molecular events that define tumorigenesis, (3) a lack of tools for studying tumor–host interactions, (4) difficulty in accessing model systems across institutions, and (5) addressing why preclinical studies appear not to be predictive of human clinical trials. It should be possible to apply the knowledge gained molecular and epigenetic studies to develop new cell lines and models that mimic progressive and fatal prostate cancer and ultimately improve interventions.
mouse; genetically engineered; cell lines
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short non-coding ribonucleic acids known to affect gene expression at the translational level and there is mounting evidence that miRNAs play a role in the function of tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs). To aid the functional analyses of miRNAs in an in-vitro model of TAMs known as M2 macrophages, a transfection method to introduce artificial miRNA constructs or miRNA molecules into primary human monocytes is needed. Unlike differentiated macrophages or dendritic cells, undifferentiated primary human monocytes have been known to show resistance to lentiviral transduction. To circumvent this challenge, other techniques such as electroporation and chemical transfection have been used in other applications to deliver small gene constructs into human monocytes. To date, no studies have compared these two methods objectively to evaluate their suitability in the miRNA functional analysis of M2 macrophages.
Of the methods tested, the electroporation of miRNA-construct containing plasmids and the chemical transfection of miRNA precursor molecules are the most efficient approaches. The use of a silencer siRNA labeling kit (Ambion) to conjugate Cy 3 fluorescence dyes to the precursor molecules allowed the isolation of successfully transfected cells with fluorescence-activated cell sorting. The chemical transfection of these dye-conjugated miRNA precursors yield an efficiency of 37.5 ± 0.6% and a cell viability of 74 ± 1%. RNA purified from the isolated cells demonstrated good quality, and was fit for subsequent mRNA expression qPCR analysis. While electroporation of plasmids containing miRNA constructs yield transfection efficiencies comparable to chemical transfection of miRNA precursors, these electroporated primary monocytes seemed to have lost their potential for differentiation.
Among the most common methods of transfection, the chemical transfection of dye-conjugated miRNA precursors was determined to be the best suited approach for the functional analysis of M2 macrophages.
Tumor-associated macrophages; microRNA; miRNA; miR-511; chemical transfection; electroporation
The receptor tyrosine kinase Axl is over-expressed in a variety of cancers and is known to play a role in proliferation and invasion. Previous data from our lab indicates that Axl and its ligand GAS6 may play a role in establishing metastatic dormancy in the bone marrow microenvironment. In the current study, we found that Axl is highly expressed in metastatic prostate cancer (PCa) cell lines PC3 and DU145 and has negligible levels of expression in a non-metastatic cancer cell line LNCaP. Knockdown of Axl in PC3 and DU145 cells resulted in decreased expression of several mesenchymal markers including Snail, Slug, and N-cadherin, and enhanced expression of the epithelial marker E-cadherin, suggesting that Axl is involved in the epithelial to mesenchymal transition in PCa cells. The Axl-knockdown PC3 and DU145 cells also displayed decreased in vitro migration and invasion. Interestingly, when PC3 and DU145 cells were treated with GAS6, Axl protein levels were down-regulated. Moreover, CoCl2, a hypoxia mimicking agent, prevented GAS6 mediated down-regulation of Axl in these cell lines. Immunochemical staining of human PCa tissue microarrays demonstrated that Axl, GAS6 and Hif1-α (indicator of hypoxia) were all co-expressed in PCa and in bone metastases, compared to normal tissues. Together, our studies indicate that Axl plays a crucial role in PCa metastasis, and that GAS6 regulates the expression of Axl. Importantly, in a hypoxic tumor microenvironment Axl expression maintained leading to enhanced signaling.
Bone Metastasis; prostate cancer; EMT; Hypoxia; tumor microenvironment; GAS6; Axl
A number of cancers predominantly metastasize to bone, due to its complex microenvironment and multiple types of constitutive cells. Prostate cancer especially has been shown to localize preferentially to bones with higher marrow cellularity. Using an experimental prostate cancer metastasis model, we investigated the effects of cyclophosphamide, a bone marrow-suppressive chemotherapeutic drug, on the development and growth of metastatic tumors in bone. Priming the murine host with cyclophosphamide prior to intra-cardiac tumor cell inoculation was found to significantly promote tumor localization and subsequent growth in bone. Shortly after cyclophosphamide treatment, there was an abrupt expansion of myeloid lineage cells in the bone marrow and the peripheral blood, associated with increases in cytokines with myelogenic potential such as C-C chemokine ligand (CCL)-2, interleukin (IL)-6, and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A. More importantly, neutralizing host-derived murine CCL2, but not IL-6, in the pre-metastatic murine host significantly reduced the pro-metastatic effects of cyclophosphamide. Together, our findings suggest that bone marrow perturbation by cytotoxic chemotherapy can contribute to bone metastasis via a transient increase in bone marrow myeloid cells and myelogenic cytokines. These changes can be reversed by inhibition of CCL2.
Cyclophosphamide; prostate cancer; bone metastasis; myeloid cells; CCL2
We previously reported the development of a simple, user-friendly, and versatile 384 hanging drop array plate for 3D spheroid culture and the importance of utilizing 3D cellular models in anti-cancer drug sensitivity testing. The 384 hanging drop array plate allows for high-throughput capabilities and offers significant improvements over existing 3D spheroid culture methods. To allow for practical 3D cell-based high-throughput screening and enable broader use of the plate, we characterize the robustness of the 384 hanging drop array plate in terms of assay performance and demonstrate the versatility of the plate. We find that the 384 hanging drop array plate performance is robust in fluorescence- and colorimetric-based assays through z-factor calculations. Finally, we demonstrate different plate capabilities and applications, including: spheroid transfer and retrieval for Janus spheroid formation, sequential addition of cells for concentric layer patterning of different cell types, and culture of a wide variety of cell types.
spheroid; z-factor; high-throughput; 3D; hanging drop
Interleukin (IL)-4 plays a critical role in the regulation of immune responses and has been detected at high levels in the tumor microenvironment of cancer patients where it correlates with the grade of malignancy. The direct effect of IL-4 on cancer cells has been associated with increased cell survival; however, its role in cancer cell proliferation and related mechanisms is still unclear. Here it was shown that in a nutrient-depleted environment, IL-4 induces proliferation in prostate cancer PC3 cells. In these cells, under nutrient-depletion stress, IL-4 activates mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), including Erk, p38 and JNK. Using MAP-signaling-specific inhibitors, it was shown that IL-4-induced proliferation is mediated by JNK activation. In fact, JNK-inhibitor-V stunted IL-4-mediated cell proliferation. Furthermore, it was found that IL-4 induces survivin up-regulation in nutrient-depleted cancer cells. Using survivin-shRNAs, it was demonstrated that in this milieu survivin expression above a threshold limit is critical to the mechanism of IL-4-mediated proliferation. In addition, the significance of survivin up-regulation in a stressed environment was assessed in prostate cancer mouse xenografts. It was found that survivin knockdown decreases tumor progression in correlation with cancer cell proliferation. Furthermore, under nutrient depletion stress, IL-4 could induce proliferation in cancer cells from multiple origins: MDA-MB-231 (breast), A253 (head and neck), and SKOV-3 (ovarian). Overall, these findings suggest that in a tumor microenvironment under stress conditions, IL-4 triggers a simultaneous activation of the JNK-pathway and the up-regulation of survivin turning on a cancer proliferation mechanism.
IL-4; JNK; survivin; prostate cancer; nutrient-depletion stress; proliferation
Prostate cancer continues to be the most common nonskin cancer diagnosed and the second leading cause of cancer death in men in the United States. Prostate cancer that has metastasized to bone remains incurable. The interactions between prostate cancer cells and the various cells of the host microenvironment result in enhanced growth of tumor cells and activation of host cells that together culminate in osteoblastic bone metastases. These dynamic tumor–host interactions are mediated by cancer and host-produced cytokines and chemokines. Among them, chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 (CCL2) has been identified as a prominent modulator of metastatic growth in the bone microenvironment. CCL2 is produced by bone marrow osteoblasts, endothelial cells, stromal cells, and prostate cancer cells. It has been demonstrated to modulate tumor-associated macrophage migration and promote osteoclast maturation. In addition, CCL2 functions through binding to its receptor CCR2 to induce prostate cell proliferation, migration, and invasion in both autocrine and paracrine manners. CCL2 protects prostate cancer cells from autophagic death by activating survivin through a PI3K/AKT (phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/protein kinase B)–dependent mechanism. Inhibition of CCL2 substantially decreases macrophage infiltration, decreases osteoclast function, and inhibits prostate cancer growth in bone in preclinical animal models. The multiple roles of CCL2 in the tumor microenvironment make it an attractive therapeutic target in metastatic prostate cancer as well as in other cancers.
A subpopulation of men that appear cured of prostate cancer (PCa) develop bone metastases many years after prostatectomy. This observation indicates that PCa cells were present outside of the prostate at the time of prostatectomy and remained dormant. Several lines of evidence indicate that there are disseminated tumor cells (DTCs) in the bone marrow at the time of prostatectomy. DTCs parasitize the bone microenvironment, where they derive support and impact the microenvironment itself. These DTCs appear to be a heterogeneous population of PCa cells; however, some of them appear to have some aspects of a cancer stem cell (CSC) phenotype as they can develop into clinically detectable metastases. The concept of CSC is controversial; however, several markers of CSC have been identified for PCa, which may represent cells of either basal or luminal origin. These DTCs have now been shown to compete for the hematopoietic stem cell niche in bone, where they may be placed in a dormant state. Interaction with a variety of host factors, including cytokine and cells, may impact the metastatic development and progression, including the dormant state. For example, myeloid cells have been shown to impact both the premetastatic niche and established tumors. Understanding the concepts of how PCa successfully parasitizes the bone microenvironment is paramount toward identifying therapeutic candidates to prevent or diminish PCa bone metastases.
cancer stem cell; monocytes; prostate cancer; hematopoietic stem cell; microenvironment
One of the most life-threatening complications of prostate cancer is skeletal metastasis. In order to develop treatment for metastasis, it is important to understand its molecular mechanisms. Our work in this field has drawn parallels between hematopoietic stem cell and prostate cancer homing to the marrow. Our recent work demonstrated that annexin II expressed by osteoblasts and endothelial cells plays a critical role in niche selection. In this study, we demonstrate that annexin II and its receptor play a crucial role in establishing metastasis of prostate cancer. Prostate cancer cell lines migrate toward annexin II and the adhesion of prostate cancer to osteoblasts and endothelial cells was inhibited by annexin II. By blocking annexin II or its receptor in animal models, short-term and long-term localization of prostate cancers are limited. Annexin II may also facilitate the growth of prostate cancer in vitro and in vivo by the MAPK pathway. These data strongly suggest annexin II and its receptor axis plays a central role in prostate cancer metastasis, and that prostate cancer utilize the hematopoietic stem cell homing mechanisms to gain access to the niche.
Annexin II; Annexin II receptor; prostate cancer; metastasis; niche
CCL2 is a chemokine known to recruit monocytes and macrophages to sites of inflammation. A growing body of research suggests CCL2 is progressively overexpressed in tumor beds and may play a role in the clinical progression of solid tumors. Cancer cells derived from several solid tumor types demonstrate functional receptors for CCL2, suggesting this chemokine may achieve tumorigenicity through direct effects on malignant cells; however, a variety of normal host cells that co-exist with cancer in the tumor microenvironment also respond to CCL2. These cells include macrophages, osteoclasts, endothelial cells, T-lymphocytes, and myeloid-derived immune suppressor cells (MDSCs). CCL2 mediated interactions between normal and malignant cells in the tumor microenvironment and plays a multi-faceted role in tumor progression.
CCL2; CCR2; tumorigenesis; metastasis; prostate cancer
Despite significant improvement in therapy, the prognosis of cancer with bone metastasis is generally poor. Therefore, there is a great need for new therapeutic approaches for metastatic disease. It has been appreciated that tumor cells metastasize to bone using similar mechanisms of hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) homing to bone marrow (e.g. CXCL12/CXCR4). It was recently found that prostate cancer (PCa) cells target the bone marrow microenvironment for HSCs, or HSC niche, during metastasis. Importantly, these disseminated PCa cells can be mobilized out of the niche using HSC mobilizing agents. These findings suggest that bone marrow HSC niche is a potential therapeutic target for metastatic disease. Therefore, the hypothesis worth considering is that agents that can disrupt the interactions between tumor cells and the HSC niche may prove efficacious when used in conjunction with standard chemotherapeutic agents. Although further understanding of the tumor-niche interactions is needed, the concept of targeting the niche in conjunction with chemotherapy could open up new windows to eradicate incurable metastatic diseases.
Prostate cancer (PCa) metastases and hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) frequently home to the bone marrow where they compete to occupy the same HSC niche. We have also shown that under conditions of hematopoietic stress, HSCs secrete the bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs)-2 and BMP-6 that drives osteoblastic differentiation from mesenchymal precursors. Because it is not known, we examined if metastatic PCa cells can alter regulation of normal bone formation by HSCs and hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs). HSC/HPCs isolated from mice bearing non-metastatic and metastatic tumor cells were isolated and their ability to influence osteoblastic and osteoclastic differentiation was evaluated. When the animals were inoculated with the LNCaP C4-2B cell line which produces mixed osteoblastic and osteolytic lesions in bone, HPCs but not HSCs were able to induced stromal cells to differentiate down an osteoblastic phenotype. Part of the mechanism responsible for this activity was the production of BMP-2. On the other hand, when the animals were implanted with PC3 cells that exhibits predominantly osteolytic lesions in bone, HSCs derived from these animals were capable of directly differentiating into tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) positive osteoclasts through an interleukin-6 (IL-6) mediated pathway. These studies for the first time identify HSC/HPCs as novel targets for future therapy involved in the bone abnormalities of PCa.
Hematopoietic stem cells; osteoblast; osteoclast; differentiation; disseminated tumor cells
Bone is the preferred site of prostate cancer metastasis, contributing to the morbidity and mortality of this disease. A key step in the successful establishment of prostate cancer bone metastases is activation of osteoclasts with subsequent bone resorption causing the release of several growth factors from the bone matrix. CD11b+ cells in bone marrow are enriched for osteoclast precursors. Conditioned media from prostate cancer PC-3 cells induces CD11b+ cells from human peripheral blood to differentiate into functional osteoclasts with subsequent bone resorption. Analysis of PC-3 conditioned media revealed high amounts of IL-6 and IL-8. CD11b+ cells were cultured with M-CSF and RANKL, IL-6, IL-8 and CCL2, alone or in combination. All of these conditions induced osteoclast fusion, but cells cultured with M-CSF, IL-6, IL-8 and CCL2 were capable of limited bone resorption. Co-incubation with IL-6 and IL-8 and the RANK inhibitor, RANK-Fc, failed to inhibit osteoclast fusion and bone resorption, suggesting a potential RANKL-independent mechanism of functional osteoclast formation. This study demonstrates that functional osteoclasts can be derived from CD11b+ cells derived from human PBMCs. Prostate cancer cells secrete factors, including IL-6 and IL-8, that play an important role in osteoclast fusion by a RANKL-independent mechanism.
Osteoclast; CD11b; Prostate Cancer; RANKL; IL-6; IL-8; CCL2
CC chemokine ligand 2 (CCL2, also known as monocyte chemoattractant protein-1) has been demonstrated to recruit monocytes to tumor sites. Monocytes are capable of being differentiated into tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) and osteoclasts (OCs). TAMs have been shown to promote tumor growth in several cancer types. Osteoclasts have also been known to play an important role in cancer bone metastasis. To investigate the effects of CCL2 on tumorigenesis and its potential effects on bone metastasis of human prostate cancer, CCL2 was overexpressed into a luciferase-tagged human prostate cancer cell line PC-3. In vitro, the conditioned medium of CCL2 overexpressing PC-3luc cells (PC-3lucCCL2) was a potent chemoattractant for mouse monocytes in comparison to a conditioned medium from PC-3lucMock. In addition, CCL2 overexpression increased the growth of transplanted xenografts and increased the accumulation of macrophages in vivo. In a tumor dissemination model, PC-3lucCCL2 enhanced the growth of bone metastasis, which was associated with more functional OCs. Neutralizing antibodies targeting both human and mouse CCL2 inhibited the growth of PC-3luc, which was accompanied by a decrease in macrophage recruitment to the tumor. These findings suggest that CCL2 increases tumor growth and bone metastasis through recruitment of macrophages and OCs to the tumor site.