Ribozyme-targeting of a secreted FGF-binding protein (FGF-BP) inhibits proliferation of prostate cancer cells in vitro and in vivo

Oncogene. 2002 Aug 22;21(37):5733-42. doi: 10.1038/sj.onc.1205560.


Prostate cancer is one of the most common malignant tumors with increasing incidence rates in the aging male. Since locally advanced or metastatic prostate tumors are essentially incurable, identification of new target molecules and treatment strategies is of critical importance. Fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) acts as potent mitogen which is upregulated in prostate cancers modulating cancer cell proliferation and development of an invasive phenotype. Normally it is tightly bound to the extracellular matrix that quenches its biological activity. The FGF-binding proteins (FGF-BP, HBp17) is a secreted protein which is able to mobilize and activate FGF-2 from the extracellular matrix. Here we show that FGF-BP is highly expressed in prostate tumor cells. To study the functional role of FGF-BP, we use a ribozyme-targeting approach to selectively deplete FGF-BP in prostate cancer cells achieving a more than 50% reduction of FGF-BP mRNA and protein levels in two mass-transfected cell lines. FGF-BP depletion reduces proliferation of the cells in vitro without changes in cell cycle distribution or apoptosis. Using cDNA microarrays, Northern blotting and RT-PCR, we show a complex pattern of changes in the gene expression profiles upon FGF-BP depletion. Most strikingly, ribozyme-mediated reduction of FGF-BP levels completely abolishes the ability of the highly metastatic PC-3 prostate carcinoma cells to grow tumors in an athymic nude mouse in vivo model which is far beyond the effects of FGF-BP ribozyme targeting observed previously in cells from other tumors in the same model. Taken together, our study identifies FGF-BP as a potential rate-limiting factor for prostate cancer growth and, due to its restricted expression pattern in adults, a potentially attractive target for prostate cancer therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Cell Cycle
  • Cell Division
  • Endopeptidases / analysis
  • Endopeptidases / genetics*
  • Endopeptidases / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • RNA, Catalytic / therapeutic use*
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • RNA, Catalytic
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Endopeptidases