Oxytocin induces the migration of prostate cancer cells: involvement of the Gi-coupled signaling pathway

Miao Zhong, Maryam L Boseman, Ana C Millena, Shafiq A Khan
Molecular Cancer Research: MCR 2010, 8 (8): 1164-72
Expression of genes that encode oxytocin (OXT) and vasopressin (AVP) and their cognate receptors in normal and diseased prostates are only partially characterized. Reverse transcription and PCR were used to examine the expression of these genes in normal prostate epithelial and stromal cell lines, k-ras-transformed prostate epithelial cell lines, and in four prostate cancer cell lines. Secreted and cell-associated OXT peptide was measured by an enzyme immunoassay. OXT and its receptor (OXTR) were expressed in all eight prostate cell lines. Cell-associated OXT peptide was also found in all prostate epithelial cell lines except in DU145 cells. Neither AVP nor its cognate receptors (V1a receptor and V2 receptor) were expressed in any prostate cell line examined. These data point to the OXTR as the primary target of OXT and AVP, and suggest that OXT might be an autocrine/paracrine regulator in human prostate. We found that OXT induces the migration of PC3 and PC3M, but not DU145 prostate cancer cells. The effect of OXT is distinct from the epidermal growth factor (EGF)-induced migration of prostate cancer cells, in which ERK1/2 and EGF receptor kinase activities were required. When cells were pretreated with pertussis toxin, the effect of OXT, but not EGF, on cell migration was abolished. Pretreatment with the cyclic AMP analogue, 8-Br-cAMP, did not affect OXT-induced cell migration, which eliminated the nonspecific effect of pertussis toxin. We conclude that a Gi-dependent mechanism is involved in OXTR-mediated migration of prostate cancer cells, and indicates a role for OXTR in prostate cancer metastasis.

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