RPS2: a novel therapeutic target in prostate cancer

Min Wang, Youji Hu, Mark E Stearns
Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research: CR 2009 January 12, 28: 6

BACKGROUND: A number of studies have previously shown that the over expression of different ribosomal proteins might play an important role in cancer (i.e. S3a, L10, L16). We have previously reported that RPS2, a 33 Kda ribosomal protein was over expressed in malignant prostate cancer cell lines and in archived tumor specimens. Thus, RPS2 or other aberrantly over-expressed ribosomal proteins might promote cancer and be excellent therapeutic targets for treatment of the disease.

METHODS: Western blotting and RT-PCR have been used to measure and compare the levels of expression of RPS2 in a variety of malignant prostate cancer cell lines, plus normal and benign cells lines. We have developed a 'ribozyme-like' DNAZYM-1P '10-23' motif oligonucleotide and examined whether it targets RPS2 in different cell lines by RT-PCR and Western blots. Growth and apoptosis assays were carried out to measure whether DNAZYM-1P 'knock-down' of RPS2 influenced cell proliferation or survival. We have also developed a SCID mouse tumor model with PC-3ML cells to determine whether DNAZYM-1P targeting of RPS2 compromised tumor growth and mouse survival rates in vivo.

RESULTS: Western blots showed that PC-3ML, LNCaP, CPTX-1532, and pBABE-cmyc stably transfected IBC-10a cells all over-expressed RPS2, whereas IBC-10a parent, NPTX-1532, and BPH-1 cells or mouse NIH-3T3 cells expressed barely detectable levels of RPS2. RT-PCR assays showed that DNAZYM-1P, which targeted RPS2, 'knocked-down' RPS2 expression in the malignant cells (i.e. PC-3ML cells) in vitro. The DNAZYM-1P also inhibited cell growth and induced apoptosis in the malignant prostate cells, but had little effect on the normal IBC-10a or NPTX-1532 cell lines. Finally, SCID mouse tumor modeling studies showed that DNAZYM-1P blocked tumor growth and metastasis by PC-3ML cells and eventually eradicated tumors following localized or systemic i.v. delivery. Mouse survival studies revealed that there was a dosage dependent increase in disease free survival rates in mice treated systemically with DNAZYM-1P (i.e. mouse survival increased from 0% to 100%).

CONCLUSION: In sum, we have shown for the first time that therapeutic targeting of RPS2 is an excellent approach for the eradication of prostate cancer in preclinical tumor modeling studies.

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