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Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2002 Mar 28;189(1-2):169-79.

Vascular endothelial growth factor and signaling in the prostate: more than angiogenesis.

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  • 1Urologic Oncology Research Group, Department of Surgery, Urology Division, Research Institute, McGill University Health Center, 1650 Cedar Avenue, Quebec, H3G IA4, Montreal, Canada.


In cloning tyrosine kinase genes in dog prostate cells, a fragment of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor 1 or Flt-1 was sequenced. To test for a functional protein, Flt-1 antibodies were used to probe immunoprecipitated tyrosine phosphorylated proteins. Western blotting revealed a major 170-180 kDa band and a few bands below 116 kDa in dog prostate and human prostatic carcinoma PC-3 cells, with higher levels in PC-3. Similar results were obtained with human placental membranes used as a source of Flt-1. That the major Flt-1 tyrosine phosphorylated protein was likely VEGF-R1 and part of VEGF signaling pathways was shown by enhanced level of only this protein when PC-3 cells were exposed to VEGF. Accordingly specific cell surface receptor complexes, displaced by VEGF but not EGF and compatible with Flt-1 in size, were revealed by chemical cross-linking after 125I-VEGF binding. Similarly to the prostatic neuroproduct, gastrin-releasing peptide/bombesin, VEGF directly triggered the tyrosine phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase and stimulated PC-3 cell motility. The titration of prostate tissue sections with VEGF-A antibodies revealed a confined staining in chromogranin A and/or serotonin positive neuroendocrine (NE) cells, including in primary tumors and lymph node metastases. Given that NE differentiation is associated with advanced disease, that NE cells are a significant source of VEGF in prostatic tumors, and that VEGF directly act on prostate cancer cells in vitro, VEGF-A may be more than angiogenic in prostate cancer and hence favor progression by affecting tumor cells.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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