Background and purpose: DNA hypomethylation was previously implicated in metastasis. In the present study, we examined whether methyl supplementation with the universal methyl donor S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) inhibits prostate cancer associated skeletal metastasis.
Experimental approach: Highly invasive human prostate cancer cells PC-3 and DU-145 were treated with vehicle alone, S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH) or SAM and their effects on tumour cell proliferation, invasion, migration and colony formation were monitored. For in vivo studies, control (SAH) and SAM-treated PC-3 cells were injected into the tibia of Fox chase SCID mice and skeletal lesions were determined by X-ray and μCT. To understand possible mechanisms involved, we delineated the effect of SAM on the genome-wide methylation profile of PC-3 cells.
Key results: Treatment with SAM resulted in a dose-dependent inhibition of tumour cell proliferation, invasion, cell migration, colony formation and cell cycle characteristics. Animals injected with 250 μM SAM-treated cells developed significantly smaller skeletal lesions, which were associated with increases in bone volume to tumour volume ratio and connectivity density as well as decreased trabecular spacing. Genome-wide methylation analysis showed differential methylation in several key signalling pathways implicated in prostate cancer including the signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) pathway. A selective STAT3 inhibitor decreased tumour cell invasion, effects which were less pronounced as compared with SAM.
Conclusions and implications: These studies provide a possible mechanism for the role of DNA demethylation in the development of skeletal metastasis and a rationale for the use of hypermethylation pharmacological agents to impede the development and progression of skeletal metastasis.
© 2015 The British Pharmacological Society.