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Mol Cancer Res. 2005 Mar;3(3):163-9.

The progression of LNCaP human prostate cancer cells to androgen independence involves decreased FOXO3a expression and reduced p27KIP1 promoter transactivation.

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Lilly Research Labs, Cancer Division, Eli Lilly and Company, Lilly Corporate Center, Drop Code 0546, Indianapolis, IN 46285, USA.


The progression of human prostate cancer from the initial androgen-dependent phase to androgen independence involves diminished apoptosis and a release from the cell cycle block triggered by androgen ablation therapy. FOXO transcription factors play a central role in promoting expression of proapoptotic and cell cycle regulatory genes (e.g., FasL and p27KIP1). Reduced FOXO function might, therefore, play a role in androgen-independent progression of human prostate cancer. Herein, we show that FOXO function is compromised in androgen-independent prostate cancer cells (LNAI) versus androgen-dependent LNCaP cells. The FOXO3a protein, the most highly expressed FOXO family member in prostate cancer cells, is hyperphosphorylated in LNAI cells. FOXO3a expression is also markedly reduced in these androgen-independent LNAI cells when compared with parental LNCaP cells. Together, reduced FOXO3a expression coupled to FOXO3a hyperphosphorylation would suppress FOXO transcriptional activity. Accordingly, activity of the FOXO-responsive p27KIP1 promoter is reduced 60% in these LNAI cells when compared with LNCaP cells. Moreover, mutation of a conserved FOXO response element suppresses p27KIP1 promoter activity, substantiating a regulatory role for this FOXO response element in p27KIP1 promoter transactivation. Finally, we show that the activity of a distinct FOXO-responsive promoter, the 3X-IRS promoter, is also reduced in LNAI cells. Collectively, these data show that reduced FOXO3a expression coupled to increased FOXO3a phosphorylation coincide with reduced FOXO-responsive promoter activity in androgen-independent LNAI cells when compared with androgen-dependent LNCaP cells. To the extent that this model reflects human disease, these data suggest that FOXO function may be compromised with androgen-independent progression of human prostate cancer.

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