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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Neuregulin promotes autophagic cell death of prostate cancer cells.

BACKGROUND: Prostate cancer is one of the most frequently diagnosed cancers in males. Autocrine/paracrine growth factors for the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) have been identified in prostate tumors suggesting a role for EGFR in the progression of prostate cancer. The androgen-dependent prostate cancer cell line, LNCaP, expresses the EGFR as well as two additional members of the family; ErbB-2 and ErbB-3, which can be activated by neuregulin (NRG) isoforms. The effect of ErbB ligands on the viability of LNCaP cells was studied. METHODS: In the present study, we examined the effect of NRG on LNCaP cell growth and survival in the absence of androgen mimetic by the MTT assay, FACS analysis, nuclei staining, and Western blotting. RESULTS: Our results demonstrate that NRG activates ErbB-2/ErbB-3 heterodimers and induces cell death of LNCaP cells. By contrast, EGF activates ErbB-1/ErbB-1 or ErbB-1/ErbB-2 dimers and induces cell growth and survival. Interestingly, LNCaP cells treated with PI3K inhibitor underwent cell death but cells treated with both NRG and PI3K inhibitor survived as the control cells, indicating that the PI3K pathway may mediate NRG-induced cell death. NRG-induced cell death was not inhibited by the broad-spectrum caspases inhibitor, benzyloxycarbonyl-Val-Ala-Asp-fluoromethylketone (Z-VAD-FMK). However, NRG-induced cell death was inhibited by type II cell death inhibitor, 3-methyladenine. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that NRG induces type II cell death of LNCaP cells through PI3K-dependent pathway.[1]


  1. Neuregulin promotes autophagic cell death of prostate cancer cells. Tal-Or, P., Di-Segni, A., Lupowitz, Z., Pinkas-Kramarski, R. Prostate (2003) [Pubmed]
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