Changes in extracellular matrix (ECM) and ECM-associated proteins in the metastatic progression of prostate cancer

Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2004 Jan 7;2:2. doi: 10.1186/1477-7827-2-2.


Prostate cancer (PCa) is no exception to the multi-step process of metastasis. As PCa progresses, changes occur within the microenvironments of both the malignant cells and their targeted site of metastasis, enabling the necessary responses that result in successful translocation. The majority of patients with progressing prostate cancers develop skeletal metastases. Despite advancing efforts in early detection and management, there remains no effective, long-term cure for metastatic PCa. Therefore, the elucidation of the mechanism of PCa metastasis and preferential establishment of lesions in bone is an intensive area of investigation that promises to generate new targets for therapeutic intervention. This review will survey what is currently know concerning PCa interaction with the extracellular matrix (ECM) and the roles of factors within the tumor and ECM microenvironments that contribute to metastasis. These will be discussed within the context of changes in expression and functional heterodimerization patterns of integrins, changes in ECM expression and reorganization by proteases facilitating invasion. In this context we also provide a brief summary of how growth factors (GFs), cytokines and regulatory signaling pathways favor PCa metastasis to bone.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Extracellular Matrix / pathology*
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Proteins / metabolism
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / secondary*


  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins
  • Neoplasm Proteins