Background: The growth and progression of prostate cancer depends on the stromal-epithelial interaction which is under paracrine control. Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), produced by mesenchymal cells, is a multifunctional growth factor stimulating the movement and growth of epithelial cells including cancer cells. We therefore assessed the relationship between the invasive potential of prostate cancer and HGF in vitro.
Methods: Three human prostate cancer cell lines were used including PC-3 and DU145 (androgen-independent), and LNCaP (androgen-dependent). We studied the expression of the HGF receptor c-met proto-oncogene (c-met) by Western blot analysis, and also determined the effects of HGF on cell scattering, and the mechanisms of invasion and proliferation, by microscopic observation, the matrigel invasion chamber assay, and the MTT assay.
Results: c-met was detected in PC-3 and DU145 cells, but not in the LNCaP cells. There was increased cell motility in the scatter assay and an increased cell invasive potential in the matrigel invasion chamber assay by stimulation with HGF only with DU145 cells.
Conclusion: HGF plays an important role in the invasion and metastasis of the DU145 cell line through a paracrine mechanism mediated by the c-metreceptor. In the PC-3 cell line, the lack of downstream signal transduction after the c-met receptor is suggested.