Background: Increased expression of caveolin has been associated with prostate cancer progression. In a mouse reconstitution model of prostate cancer, expression of caveolin was inversely related to androgen sensitivity: androgen independent clones had high caveolin expression; low caveolin expression was associated with sensitivity to androgen withdrawal. In contrast, several independent observations support the hypothesis that caveolin functions as a tumor suppressor.
Methods: Caveolin expression was studied by Western blot analysis and/or immunohistochemistry in three androgen-sensitive human prostate cancer cell lines LNCaP, LAPC-4 and LAPC-9, and following acute and chronic androgen deprivation, and in benign prostate epithelial cells. Expression of caveolin, androgen receptor (AR) and prostate specific antigen (PSA) was also examined after reintroduction of androgen.
Results: LNCaP grown continuously under androgen-depleted conditions for 6 to 42 months produced several androgen-independent and tumorigenic clones: tumors formed in 13/15 castrate and 7/15 intact male athymic nu/nu mice, but no tumors formed in wildtype LNCaP-bearing animals. Caveolin expression was decreased in every androgen-deprived LNCaP clone and following 150 days of androgen deprivation in LAPC-4. Caveolin expression by LAPC-9 was very low. Following exposure to dihydrotestosterone in vitro, caveolin and PSA expression increased within three days in the androgen-deprived clones of LNCaP. Benign prostate epithelial cells have high caveolin expression.
Conclusions: Unlike the mouse reconstitution model of prostate cancer, the pattern of caveolin expression in benign prostatic epithelium and androgen-sensitive human prostate cancer is consistent with tumor suppressive activity.
Copyright 1999 Wiley-Liss, Inc.