Constitutive activation of stimulatory guanine nucleotide binding protein (G(S)alphaQL)-mediated signaling increases invasiveness and tumorigenicity of PC-3M prostate cancer cells.
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An abnormal stimulation of cAMP signaling cascade has been implicated in various human carcinomas. Since the agents activating G(S)alpha-mediated signaling pathways have been shown to increase in vitro proliferation of prostate cancer cells, present studies examined the G(S)alpha-mediated signaling in tumorigenicity and invasiveness of PC-3M prostate cancer cells. PC-3M cells were stably transfected with plasmids containing either wild type (G(S)alpha-WT) or constitutively active (gsp mutant of G(S)alpha or G(S)alpha-QL) cDNAs. The stable transfectants were then tested for: (1) colony formation in soft agar; (2) cell migration and penetration of basement matrix in an in vitro invasion assay; and (3) the ability to form tumors and metastases in nude mice. PC-3M cells expressing G(S)alpha-QL protein displayed 15-fold increase in their ability to migrate and penetrate the basement membrane as compared to parental PC-3M cells or those expressing G(S)alpha-WT. G(S)alpha-QL transfectants also displayed a dramatically greater rate of growth in soft agar, and greater tumorigenicity and metastasis forming ability when orthotopically implanted in nude mice. All mice receiving PC-3M cells produced primary tumors within 5 weeks after implantation. However, the cells expressing G(S)alpha-QL displayed a significantly faster tumor growth as assessed by prostate weight (greater than 20-fold as compared to PC-3M cells), and produced metastases in kidneys, lymph nodes, blood vessels, bowel mesentery and intestine. Interestingly, expression of G(S)alpha-WT reduced the ability of PC-3M cells to form tumors in nude mice. These results suggest that persistent activation of G(S)alpha-mediated signaling cascade can dramatically accelerate tumorigenesis and metastasizing ability of prostate cancer cells.