Chromosome 17-mediated dormancy of AT6.1 prostate cancer micrometastases

Cancer Res. 1998 Nov 1;58(21):4963-9.


To improve the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, an increased understanding of the molecular and cellular changes that regulate metastatic ability is required. We have recently demonstrated a prostate cancer metastasis-suppressor activity encoded by a discontinuous approximately 70-cM region of human chromosome. The presence of this region suppresses the spontaneous metastatic ability of AT6.1 rat prostatic cancer cells by greater than 30-fold (M. A. Chekmareva et al., Prostate, 33: 271-280, 1997). Interestingly, a number of potentially important genes which have been mapped to human chromosome 17, including TP53, NM23, and BRCA1, are not retained (M. A. Chekmareva et al., cited above) or are not expressed in these microcell hybrids (B. A. Yoshida et al., In Vivo, in press), which suggests the presence of a novel metastasis-suppressor gene(s) or novel function of a known gene(s) encoded by this region(s). We hypothesize that identification of the "step" in the metastatic cascade that is inhibited by the presence of the approximately 70-cM metastasis-suppressor region will facilitate the identification of candidate metastasis-suppressor genes. For a cancer cell to metastasize, it must escape from the primary tumor, enter the circulation, arrest in the microcirculation, extravasate into a tissue compartment, and grow. This suppression of spontaneous macroscopic lung metastases could be due to the inhibition of a number of steps within this cascade. Results of the current study demonstrate that AT6.1 cells containing the approximately 70-cM region (AT6.1-17-4 cells) escape from the primary tumor and arrest in the lung but are growth-inhibited unless the metastasis-suppressor region is lost. This growth inhibition seems to result from an effect of one or more genes at the metastatic site and not from a circulating angiogenesis inhibitor. Our findings suggest that the approximately 70-cM region of human chromosome 17 may encode a gene(s) that regulates the "dormancy" of AT6.1-17-4 micrometastases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 17*
  • Genes, Tumor Suppressor*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / prevention & control*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured