BMP signals inhibit proliferation and in vivo tumor growth of androgen-insensitive prostate carcinoma cells

Oncogene. 2004 Dec 16;23(58):9326-35. doi: 10.1038/sj.onc.1208127.


Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers in men. Several lines of evidence have suggested that bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signals play important roles in the generation and progression of prostate cancers. In the present study, we show that BMP-7 inhibits the proliferation of androgen-insensitive PC-3 and DU-145 prostate cancer cells in a medium containing 1% fetal bovine serum, observed as decreased incorporation of [(3)H]thymidine and decreased cell number. Cell cycle analysis by flow cytometry showed an increased fraction of cells in the G1 phase and subsequent decrease in both S and G2/M phase after BMP-7 stimulation. BMP-7 caused an upregulation of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor (CDKI) p21(CIP1/WAF1), and decreased the activity of Cdk2, leading to hypophosphorylation of Rb proteins. Furthermore, in order to evaluate the impact of BMP signals on prostate tumor growth, we generated the PC-3 cell lines expressing a constitutively active BMP type I receptor (constitutively active (c.a.) activin receptor-like kinase (ALK)-6) in a tetracycline (Tet)-regulated manner. Tet/doxycycline-regulated expression of c.a.ALK-6 resulted in the inhibition of in vitro cell proliferation and reduction of the size of tumors derived from the PC-3 cells subcutaneously injected into immune-deficient mice. Collectively, these findings suggest that BMP signals inhibit growth and proliferation of prostate tumor cells through induction of CDKI. Furthermore, this is the first report of a role for BMP signaling in reducing growth kinetics of androgen-insensitive prostate tumors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Androgens / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein 7
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein Receptors, Type I
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins / metabolism
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins / physiology*
  • CDC2-CDC28 Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation*
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 2
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p21
  • Immunoprecipitation
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Phosphorylation
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics
  • Receptors, Growth Factor / genetics
  • Retinoblastoma Protein / metabolism
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Tetracycline / pharmacology
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / metabolism
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / physiology*
  • Up-Regulation


  • Androgens
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein 7
  • Bone Morphogenetic Proteins
  • Cdkn1a protein, mouse
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p21
  • Receptors, Growth Factor
  • Retinoblastoma Protein
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • CDC2-CDC28 Kinases
  • Cdk2 protein, mouse
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 2
  • Bmpr1b protein, mouse
  • Bone Morphogenetic Protein Receptors, Type I
  • Tetracycline