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Cancer Res. 2012 Oct 15;72(20):5261-72. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-12-0254. Epub 2012 Aug 15.

Clusterin mediates TGF-β-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition and metastasis via Twist1 in prostate cancer cells.

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The Vancouver Prostate Centre and Department of Urologic Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.


TGF-β promotes epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and induces clusterin (CLU) expression, linking these genes to cancer metastasis. CLU is a pleiotropic molecular chaperone that confers survival and proliferative advantage to cancer cells. However, the molecular mechanisms by which TGF-β regulates CLU expression and CLU affects metastasis remain unknown. In this study, we report that the transcription factor Twist1 mediates TGF-β-induced CLU expression. By binding to E-boxes in the distal promoter region of CLU gene, Twist1 regulated basal and TGF-β-induced CLU transcription. In addition, CLU reduction reduced TGF-β induction of the mesenchymal markers, N-cadherin and fibronectin, thereby inhibiting the migratory and invasive properties induced by TGF-β. Targeted inhibition of CLU also suppressed metastasis in an in vivo model. Taken together, our findings indicate that CLU is an important mediator of TGF-β-induced EMT, and suggest that CLU suppression may represent a promising therapeutic option for suppressing prostate cancer metastatic progression.

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