Geraniol, an acyclic dietary monoterpene, has been found to suppress cancer survival and growth. However, the molecular mechanism underlying the antitumor action of geraniol has not been investigated at the genome-wide level. In this study, we analyzed the microarray data obtained from geraniol-treated prostate cancer cells. Geraniol potently altered a gene expression profile and primarily down-regulated cell cycle-related gene signatures, compared to linalool, another structurally similar monoterpene that induces no apparent phenotypic changes. Master regulator analysis using the prostate cancer-specific regulatory interactome identified that the transcription factor E2F8 as a specific target molecule regulates geraniol-specific cell cycle signatures. Subsequent experiments confirmed that geraniol down-regulated E2F8 expression and the knockdown of E2F8 was sufficient to suppress cell growth by inducing G2 /M arrest. Epidemiological analysis showed that E2F8 is up-regulated in metastatic prostate cancer and associated with poor prognosis. These results indicate that E2F8 is a crucial transcription regulator controlling cell cycle and survival in prostate cancer cells. Therefore, our study provides insight into the role of E2F8 in prostate cancer biology and therapeutics.
Keywords: Bioinformatics; E2F8; cell cycle control; clustering analysis; geraniol; master regulator analysis; prostate cancer.
© 2016 The Authors. Cancer Medicine published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.