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J Cell Biochem. 2004 Jan 1;91(1):100-17.

NF-kappaB activation in human prostate cancer: important mediator or epiphenomenon?

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Cancer Institute of New Jersey and Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine, Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, New Jersey 08854, USA.


The NF-kappaB family of transcription factors has been shown to be constitutively activated in various human malignancies, including leukemias, lymphomas, and a number of solid tumors. NF-kappaB is hypothesized to contribute to development and/or progression of malignancy by regulating the expression of genes involved in cell growth and proliferation, anti-apoptosis, angiogenesis, and metastasis. Prostate cancer cells have been reported to have constitutive NF-kappaB activity due to increased activity of the IkappaB kinase complex. Furthermore, an inverse correlation between androgen receptor (AR) status and NF-kappaB activity was observed in prostate cancer cell lines. NF-kappaB may promote cell growth and proliferation in prostate cancer cells by regulating expression of genes such as c-myc, cyclin D1, and IL-6. NF-kappaB may also inhibit apoptosis in prostate cancer cells through activation of expression of anti-apoptotic genes, such as Bcl-2, although pro-apoptotic activity of NF-kappaB has also been reported. NF-kappaB-mediated expression of genes involved in angiogenesis (IL-8, VEGF), and invasion and metastasis (MMP9, uPA, uPA receptor) may further contribute to the progression of prostate cancer. Constitutive NF-kappaB activity has also been demonstrated in primary prostate cancer tissue samples and suggested to have prognostic importance for a subset of primary tumors. The limited number of samples analyzed in those studies and the relative lack of NF-kappaB target genes identified in RNA expression microarray analyses of prostate cancer cells suggest that further studies will be required in order to determine if NF-kappaB actually plays a role in human prostate cancer development, and/or progression, and to characterize its potential as a therapeutic target.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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