PRK1/PKN1 controls migration and metastasis of androgen-independent prostate cancer cells

Oncotarget. 2014 Dec 30;5(24):12646-64. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.2653.


The major threat in prostate cancer is the occurrence of metastases in androgen-independent tumor stage, for which no causative cure is available. Here we show that metastatic behavior of androgen-independent prostate tumor cells requires the protein-kinase-C-related kinase (PRK1/PKN1) in vitro and in vivo. PRK1 regulates cell migration and gene expression through its kinase activity, but does not affect cell proliferation. Transcriptome and interactome analyses uncover that PRK1 regulates expression of migration-relevant genes by interacting with the scaffold protein sperm-associated antigen 9 (SPAG9/JIP4). SPAG9 and PRK1 colocalize in human cancer tissue and are required for p38-phosphorylation and cell migration. Accordingly, depletion of either ETS domain-containing protein Elk-1 (ELK1), an effector of p38-signalling or p38 depletion hinders cell migration and changes expression of migration-relevant genes as observed upon PRK1-depletion. Importantly, a PRK1 inhibitor prevents metastases in mice, showing that the PRK1-pathway is a promising target to hamper prostate cancer metastases in vivo. Here we describe a novel mechanism controlling the metastatic behavior of PCa cells and identify PRK1 as a promising therapeutic target to treat androgen-independent metastatic prostate cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Androgens / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement / genetics
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Cell Proliferation / genetics
  • Cell Proliferation / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Phosphorylation
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Protein Kinase C / genetics
  • Protein Kinase C / metabolism*
  • Transcriptome
  • Transfection


  • Androgens
  • protein kinase N
  • Protein Kinase C