The identification of molecular determinants involved in the promotion of metastasis and development of androgen insensitive prostate cancer (AI-PCa) is necessary to discriminate aggressive from indolent disease and to identify therapeutic targets for advanced disease. Overexpression of one particular member of the insulin like growth factor (IGF) axis, IGFBP-2, is implicated in the development of AI-PCa and other cancers. Using the LNCaP human PCa progression model, we show that the AI and metastatic prostate cancer cell line C4-2B4 expresses greater amounts of secreted IGFBP-2 than the androgen sensitive (AS), non-metastatic LNCaP progenitor cell line. Further, the ability of androgens to decrease extracellular IGFBP-2 levels is attenuated in the AI and metastatic C4-2 cell line. The ability of androgen to negatively regulate extracellular IGFBP-2 levels was blocked by Casodex in a dose-dependent manner. The mechanism underlying the androgen-induced downregulation of secreted IGFBP-2 appears to involve extracellular proteolysis, resulting in the production of IGFBP-2 fragments lacking the ability to bind IGF-I and IGF-II. As C4-2 cells have an attenuated ability to proteolyze IGFBP-2 in response to androgen and C4-2B4 cells express greater amounts of IGFBP-2, our data implies that the diminished regulation of IGFBP-2 and loss of associated proteolytic fragments play a role in the increased metastatic behavior of these cells in vivo. Furthermore, our results suggest that either increased levels of intact IGFBP-2 or decreased levels of IGFBP-2 proteolytic fragments could serve as a biomarker to monitor for progression to AI-PCa.
(c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.