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Prostate. 2002 Nov 1;53(3):232-40.

Cyclooxygenase-2 promotes prostate cancer progression.

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Department of Urology, Kanazawa University, Kanazawa-City, Japan.



Cyclooxygenase (COX) -2, an inducible isoform of COX, has been observed to be expressed in prostate cancer. Several studies have reported that COX-2 overexpression is associated with carcinogenesis, cell growth, angiogenesis, apoptosis, and invasiveness in a variety of tumor types.


To investigate the function of COX-2 in prostate cancer directly, we stably transfected human full-length COX-2 cDNA into LNCaP cells (LNCaP-COX-2), which express low levels of endogenous COX-2.


The level of COX-2 mRNA and protein and the COX activity in COX-2 LNCaP-COX-2 cells was significantly increased compared with parent and control-transfected cells. Overexpression of COX-2 increased both proliferation in vitro and tumor growth rate in vivo. However, the pro-tumor effect was neither associated with changes of androgen receptor (AR) expression level nor AR activity. Furthermore, addition of the major metabolites of COX-2-mediated arachidonic acid metabolism did not alter the proliferation of LNCaP-COX-2 cells in vitro. LNCaP-COX-2 cells had increased secretion of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) protein, suggesting that angiogenesis induced by COX-2 stimulates tumor growth in vivo.


These data demonstrate that COX-2 contributes to prostate cancer progression and suggest that it mediates this effect, in part, through increased VEGF.

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