Mechanisms of constitutive NF-kappaB activation in human prostate cancer cells

Prostate. 2002 Aug 1;52(3):183-200. doi: 10.1002/pros.10082.


Background: Activation of the NF-kappaB transcription factor has been previously demonstrated in two androgen receptor negative prostate cancer cell lines. We wished to extend this work to additional prostate cancer cells and to characterize the mechanisms responsible for constitutive NF-kappaB activation.

Methods: Electrophoretic mobility shift assays were performed to measure NF-kappaB DNA-binding activity in prostate cancer cell lines, and immunohistochemistry was performed to detect nuclear localization of NF-kappaB in prostate cancer tissues. Western blot analysis was used to study the status of IkappaBalpha. Transient transfection assays were employed to characterize the contributions of IkappaB kinase (IKK), MAPK kinase kinases (MAPKKKs), androgen receptor (AR), and tyrosine phosphorylation to the constitutive activation of NF-kappaB in the prostate cancer cell lines.

Results: Constitutive NF-kappaB activity was observed in AR-negative cell lines as well as in the prostate cancer patient samples, but was not present in AR positive cells. A "super-repressor" IkappaBalpha, as well as dominant negative forms of IKKbeta and NF-kappaB-inducing kinase (NIK), and tyrosine kinase inhibition were able to suppress NF-kappaB activity in the cells with constitutive activation.

Conclusions: The constitutive activation of NF-kappaB observed in prostate cancer cells is likely due to a signal transduction pathway involving tyrosine kinases, NIK, and IKK activation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • I-kappa B Kinase
  • I-kappa B Proteins*
  • Male
  • NF-KappaB Inhibitor alpha
  • NF-kappa B / physiology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / metabolism
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • I-kappa B Proteins
  • NF-kappa B
  • NFKBIA protein, human
  • NF-KappaB Inhibitor alpha
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • CHUK protein, human
  • I-kappa B Kinase
  • IKBKB protein, human
  • IKBKE protein, human
  • NF-kappa B kinase