Decorin suppresses prostate tumor growth through inhibition of epidermal growth factor and androgen receptor pathways

Neoplasia. 2009 Oct;11(10):1042-53. doi: 10.1593/neo.09760.


Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and androgen receptor (AR) pathways play pivotal roles in prostate cancer progression. Therefore, agents with dual-targeting ability may have important therapeutic potential. Decorin, a proteoglycan present in the tumor microenvironment, is known to regulate matrix assembly, growth factor binding, and receptor tyrosine kinase activity. Here, we show that in prostate-specific Pten(P-/-) mice, a genetically defined, immune-competent mouse model of prostate cancer, systemic delivery of decorin inhibits tumor progression by targeting cell proliferation and survival pathways. Moreover, in human prostate cancer cells, we show that decorin specifically inhibits EGFR and AR phosphorylation and cross talk between these pathways. This prevents AR nuclear translocation and inhibits the production of prostate specific antigen. Further, the phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase (PI3K)/Akt cell survival pathway is suppressed leading to tumor cell apoptosis. Those findings highlight the effectiveness of decorin in the presence of a powerful genetic cancer risk and implicate decorin as a potential new agent for prostate cancer therapy by targeting EGFR/AR-PI3K-Akt pathways.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects*
  • Decorin
  • Epidermal Growth Factor / metabolism*
  • ErbB Receptors / genetics
  • ErbB Receptors / metabolism
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins / genetics
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins / metabolism
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • PTEN Phosphohydrolase / genetics
  • PTEN Phosphohydrolase / metabolism
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation / drug effects
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Protein Transport / drug effects
  • Proteoglycans / genetics
  • Proteoglycans / metabolism
  • Proteoglycans / pharmacology*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt / metabolism
  • RNA Interference
  • Receptor Cross-Talk / drug effects
  • Receptors, Androgen / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects


  • DCN protein, human
  • Dcn protein, mouse
  • Decorin
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins
  • Proteoglycans
  • Receptors, Androgen
  • Epidermal Growth Factor
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • PTEN Phosphohydrolase