The role of SPARC in the TRAMP model of prostate carcinogenesis and progression

Oncogene. 2009 Oct 1;28(39):3487-98. doi: 10.1038/onc.2009.205. Epub 2009 Jul 13.


SPARC (Secreted Protein Acidic and Rich in Cysteine), is a matricellular glycoprotein that is produced by tumor and/or neighboring stroma. In human prostate cancer, SPARC immunoreactivity is highest in metastatic lesions but distinct contributions of tumoral and stromal SPARC to tumorigenesis and progression are unclear. To determine the role of SPARC in primary prostate tumorigenesis, we crossed SPARC-null (SP(-/-)) with TRAMP (Transgenic Adenocarcinoma of Mouse Prostate) mice. TRAMP(+)/SP(-/-) mice exhibited accelerated cancer development and progression. Compared to their TRAMP(+)/SP(-/-) counterparts, TRAMP(+)/SP(+/+) tumors had fewer proliferating cells, and decreased cyclins A and D1 with increased p21(Cip) and p27(Kip). Similar effects on proliferation and cell-cycle regulators were observed in human prostate cancer cell lines, transiently transfected with pSPARC. TRAMP(+)/SP(-/-) tumors exhibited decreased stromal collagen, enhanced matrix metalloproteinase activity and increased vascular endothelial growth factor, proinflammatory cytokines. To determine the contribution of stromal SPARC, we evaluated subcutaneous tumor growth of TRAMP cell lines in syngeneic SP(+/+) and SP(-/-) mice. Enhanced growth, decreased stromal collagen and increased proteolysis were noted in SP(-/-) mice. Our findings demonstrate that both tumor and stromal SPARC are limiting for primary prostate tumorigenesis and progression, through effects on the cell cycle and the creation of a less favorable tumor microenvironment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics
  • Collagen / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Osteonectin / metabolism*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / physiopathology


  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Osteonectin
  • Collagen