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

Maspin sensitizes prostate cancer cells to doxazosin-induced apoptosis.

Maspin is a mammary serine protease inhibitor or serpin with tumor suppressive and antiangiogenic activity that inhibits tumor motility, invasion and metastasis, at least by its actions on cell membrane and extracellular matrix ( ECM) proteins. Previous studies documented that the quinazoline-derived alpha1-adrenoceptor antagonist doxazosin affects the attachment and migration of prostate cancer cells. In this study, we investigated the effect of maspin overexpression on the apoptotic/antiadhesion response of prostate cancer cells to doxazosin. The response of maspin-overexpressing clones of human prostate cancer cells DU-145 to doxazosin was evaluated by determining cell viability, apoptosis and cell proliferation on the basis of the trypan blue exclusion assay/methylthiazolyldiphenyl-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay, Hoechst staining and caspase-3 activation, and [(3)H]thymidine incorporation assay. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), transforming growth factor betaRII (TGFbetaRII), Smad4 (a TGFbeta intracellular effector) and bax expression was evaluated at the mRNA and protein level using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and Western blotting, respectively. The effect of doxazosin on cell attachment of maspin- expressing prostate cancer cells was evaluated on collagen- and fibronectin-coated plates. Cell migration was assessed using the wounding assay. In response to tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand, DU-145-maspin expressing cells undergo apoptosis, via poly(ADP-ribose) polymerasecleavage and caspase-3 activation. DU-145-maspin cells exhibited higher sensitivity to doxazosin and an earlier temporal activation of caspase-3. The number of apoptotic cells detected in response to doxazosin was significantly higher compared to the neo control (P<0.0001). Doxazosin resulted in dramatic downregulation of the 189 isoform of VEGF in maspin transfectants, while a fivefold induction of Smad4 mRNA expression was detected in those cells after 24 h of treatment. Maspin overexpression in prostate cancer cells resulted in an increased ability to attach to ECM-coated plates, and doxazosin treatment considerably antagonized this effect by decreasing the attachment potential to collagen and fibronectin. The present study supports the ability of maspin to enhance the apoptotic threshold of prostate cancer cells to the quinazoline-based alpha1-adrenoceptor antagonist doxazosin. These findings may have therapeutic significance in the development of antiangiogenic targeting by doxazosin and derivative agents for advanced prostate cancer.[1]


  1. Maspin sensitizes prostate cancer cells to doxazosin-induced apoptosis. Tahmatzopoulos, A., Sheng, S., Kyprianou, N. Oncogene (2005) [Pubmed]
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