Luteinising hormone-releasing hormone analogue reverses the cell adhesion profile of EGFR overexpressing DU-145 human prostate carcinoma subline

Br J Cancer. 2005 Jan 31;92(2):366-75. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6602350.


Cetrorelix, a luteinising hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) analogue, has been shown to limit growth of the human androgen-independent prostate cell line DU-145, although other inhibitory actions may also be affected. Both growth and invasion of DU-145 cells are linked to autocrine epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signalling. Invasiveness requires not only cells to migrate to conduits, but also reduced adhesiveness between tumour cells to enable separation from the tumour mass. Thus, we investigated whether Cetrorelix alters the DU-145 cell-cell adhesion and if this occurs via altered EGFR signalling. Pharmacologic levels of Cetrorelix limited the invasiveness of a highly invasive DU-145 subline overexpressing full-length EGFR (DU-145 WT). Extended exposure of the cells to Cetrorelix resulted in increased levels of the cell-cell adhesion complex molecules E-cadherin, alpha- and beta-catenin, and p120. Puromycin blocked the increases in E-cadherin and beta-catenin levels, suggesting that de novo protein synthesis is required. The Cetrorelix effect appears to occur via transmodulation of EGFR by a protein kinase C (PKC)-dependent mechanism, as there were no changes in DU-145 cells expressing EGFR engineered to negate the PKC transattenuation site (DU-145 A654); downregulation of EGFR signalling produced a similar upregulation in adhesion complex proteins, further suggesting a role for autocrine signalling. Cetrorelix increased the cell-cell adhesiveness of DU-145 WT cells to an extent similar to that seen when autocrine EGFR signalling is blocked; as expected, DU-145 A654 cell-cell adhesion also was unaffected by Cetrorelix. The increased adhesiveness is expected as the adhesion complex molecules moved to the cells' periphery. These data offer direct insight into the possible crosstalk pathways between the LHRH and EGFR receptor signalling. The ability of Cetrorelix to downregulate EGFR signalling and subsequently reverse the antiadhesiveness found in metastatic prostate cancer highlights a novel potential target for therapeutic strategies.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cell Adhesion / drug effects*
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / drug effects
  • Cell Communication / drug effects
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • ErbB Receptors / drug effects*
  • ErbB Receptors / metabolism
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone / pharmacology*
  • Hormone Antagonists / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoblotting
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects


  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Hormone Antagonists
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone
  • ErbB Receptors
  • cetrorelix