Oncogene-induced senescence is an important tumour-suppressing mechanism to prevent both premalignant transformation and cancer progression. Overcoming this process is a critical step in early cancer development. The druggable orphan nuclear receptor TLX (NR2E1) is characterized as an important regulator of neural stem cells and is also implicated in the development of some brain tumours. However, its exact functional roles in cancer growth regulation still remain unclear. Here we report that TLX can act as a promoter of tumourigenesis in prostate cancer by suppressing oncogene-induced senescence. We determined that TLX exhibited an increased expression in high-grade prostate cancer tissues and many prostate cancer cell lines. Functional studies revealed that TLX could perform an oncogenic function in prostate cancer cells, as its knockdown triggered cellular senescence and cell growth arrest in vitro and in vivo, whereas its over-expression promoted the malignant growth of prostate cancer cells. Furthermore, enhancement of TLX activity, by either ectopic expression or ligand stimulation, could potently prevent doxorubicin-induced senescence in prostate cancer cells and also allow prostatic epithelial cells to escape oncogene-induced senescence induced either by activated oncogene H-Ras(G12V) or knockdown of tumour suppressor PTEN, via a mechanism of direct but differential transcriptional regulation of two senescence-associated genes, repression of CDKN1A and transactivation of SIRT1. Together, our present study shows, for the first time, that TLX may play an important role in prostate carcinogenesis through its suppression of oncogene-induced senescence, and also suggests that targeting the senescence-regulatory TLX is of potential therapeutic significance in prostate cancer.
Keywords: SIRT1; TLX; nuclear receptor; oncogene-induced senescence; p21; prostate cancer.
Copyright © 2015 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.