Expression of cyclooxygenase-2 in prostate carcinoma

Cancer. 2000 Aug 1;89(3):589-96.


Background: Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs inhibiting cyclooxygenase (COX) enzyme activity in both its constitutive (COX-1) and inducible (COX-2) isoforms were shown also to inhibit the development of colon carcinoma in animal models. COX-2 is an inducer of angiogenesis of new blood vessels. The expression of COX-1 and COX-2 in prostate tissues from patients with prostate carcinoma was investigated using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and immunohistochemistry.

Methods: Tumor specimens were obtained from 28 prostate carcinoma (PC) patients, 8 benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) patients, 1 prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN) patient, and 8 specimens of normal prostate tissue (NP). Affinity-purified COX-1 and COX-2 antibodies were used in immunochemistry.

Results: Very weak expression of COX-1 and marked expression of immunoreactive COX-2 in tumor cells was obtained. In contrast, expression of both isoforms was very weak in all cases of BPH and in the NP tissues. Immunoreactive COX-1 also was very weak in all cases of benign tissues. The extent and intensity of immunoreactive COX-2 polypeptides in tumor cells was statistically much greater than those of cells from BPH. Immunostaining with normal rabbit immunoglobulin G was completely negative. By RT-PCR analysis, enhanced expression of COX-2, but not COX-1, was observed in PC tissue. BPH displayed faint expression of COX-2.

Conclusions: The results of the current study demonstrated that human prostate carcinoma cells generated COX-2, and that COX-2 might play an important role in the proliferation of prostate carcinoma cells. These findings suggest that inhibition of COX-2 development may lead not only to inhibition of the proliferation and metastasis of prostate carcinoma but also to the inhibition of prostate carcinogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cyclooxygenase 1
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Isoenzymes / genetics
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Middle Aged
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases / genetics
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases / metabolism*
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / metabolism
  • Prostatic Hyperplasia / pathology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • Isoenzymes
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Cyclooxygenase 1
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • PTGS1 protein, human
  • PTGS2 protein, human
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases