Bone morphogenetic protein-6 promotes osteoblastic prostate cancer bone metastases through a dual mechanism

Jinlu Dai, Jill Keller, Jian Zhang, Yi Lu, Zhi Yao, Evan T Keller
Cancer Research 2005 September 15, 65 (18): 8274-85
Prostate cancer frequently metastasizes to bone where it forms osteoblastic lesions through unknown mechanisms. Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMP) are mediators of skeletal formation. Prostate cancer produces a variety of BMPs, including BMP-6. We tested the hypothesis that BMP-6 contributes to prostate cancer-induced osteosclerosis at bone metastatic sites. Prostate cancer cells and clinical tissues produced BMP-6 that increased with aggressiveness of the tumor. Prostate cancer-conditioned medium induced SMAD phosphorylation in the preosteoblast MC3T3 cells, and phosphorylation was diminished by anti-BMP-6 antibody. Prostate cancer-conditioned medium induced mineralization of MC3T3 cells, which was blocked by both the BMP inhibitor noggin and anti-BMP-6. Human fetal bones were implanted in severe combined immunodeficient mice and after 4 weeks, LuCaP 23.1 prostate cancer cells were injected both s.c. and into the bone implants. Anti-BMP-6 or isotype antibody administration was then initiated. Anti-BMP-6 reduced LuCaP 23.1-induced osteoblastic activity, but had no effect on its osteolytic activity. This was associated with increased osteoblast numbers and osteoblast activity based on bone histomorphometric evaluation. As endothelin-1 has been implicated in bone metastases, we measured serum endothelin-1 levels but found they were not different among the treatment groups. In addition to decreased bone production, anti-BMP-6 reduced intraosseous, but not s.c., tumor size. We found that BMP-2, BMP-4, BMP-6, and BMP-7 had no direct effect on prostate cancer cell growth, but BMP-2 and BMP-6 increased the in vitro invasive ability of prostate cancer cell. These data show that prostate cancer promotes osteoblastic activity through BMP-6 and that, in addition to its bone effects, suggest that BMPs promote the ability of the prostate cancer cells to invade the bone microenvironment.

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