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Oncogene. 2003 Jul 3;22(27):4194-204.

Inhibition of Egr-1 expression reverses transformation of prostate cancer cells in vitro and in vivo.

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Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, 10835 Altman Row, San Diego, CA 92121, USA.


Transcription factor early growth response-1 (Egr-1) is a crucial regulator of cell growth, differentiation and survival. Several observations suggest that Egr-1 is growth promoting in prostate cancer cells and that blocking its function may impede cancer progression. To test this hypothesis, we developed phosphorothioate antisense oligonucleotides that efficiently inhibit Egr-1 expression without altering the expression of other family members Egr-2, Egr-3 and Egr-4. In TRAMP mouse-derived prostate cancer cell lines, our optimal antisense oligonucleotide decreased the expression of the Egr-1 target gene transforming growth factor-beta1 whereas a control oligonucleotide had no effect, indicating that the antisense blocked Egr-1 function as a transcription factor. The antisense oligonucleotide deregulated cell cycle progression and decreased proliferation of the three TRAMP cell lines by an average of 54+/-3%. Both colony formation and growth in soft agar were inhibited by the antisense oligonucleotide. When TRAMP mice were treated systemically for 10 weeks, the incidence of palpable tumors at 32 weeks of age in untreated mice or mice injected with the control scramble oligonucleotide was 87%, whereas incidence of tumors in antisense-Egr-1-treated mice was significantly reduced to 37% (P=0.026). Thus, Egr-1 plays a functional role in the transformed phenotype and may represent a valid target for prostate cancer therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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