Lymphangiogenesis allows prostate cancer (PCa) lymphatic metastasis, which is associated with poor prognosis and short survival rates. Caveolin-1 (Cav-1) is a membrane protein localized in caveolae, but also exists in non-caveolar, cellular or extracellular forms. Cav-1 is overexpressed in PCa, promotes prostate tumour progression and metastasis. We investigated the effect of caveolar and non-caveolar Cav-1 on PCa lymphangiogenic potential. Cav-1 was down-regulated in PC3 and DU145, and ectopically expressed in LNCaP cells. The effect of PCa cell conditioned media on lymphatic endothelial cell (LEC) viability, chemotaxis, chemokinesis and differentiation was assessed. The effect of Cav-1 on PCa cell expression of lymphangiogenesis-modulators VEGF-A and VEGF-C was assessed using qPCR and ELISA of the conditioned medium. Non-caveolar Cav-1, whether exogenous or endogenous (in LNCaP and PC3 cells, respectively) enhanced LEC proliferation, migration and differentiation. In contrast, caveolar Cav-1 (in DU145 cells) did not significantly affect PCa cell lymphangiogenic potential. The effect of non-caveolar Cav-1 on LECs was mediated by increased expression of VEGF-A as demonstrated by neutralization by anti-VEGF-A antibody. This study unveils for the first time a crucial role for non-caveolar Cav-1 in modulating PCa cell expression of VEGF-A and subsequent LEC proliferation, migration and tube formation.
Keywords: VEGF; caveolae; lymphangiogenesis; lymphatic endothelial cells; prostate cancer.