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Prostate. 2017 Feb;77(3):321-333. doi: 10.1002/pros.23270. Epub 2016 Nov 3.

Distinct Osteomimetic Response of Androgen-Dependent and Independent Human Prostate Cancer Cells to Mechanical Action of Fluid Flow: Prometastatic Implications.

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Department of Molecular and Cellular Oncology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.
Institute of Applied Molecular Medicine (IMMA), CEU-San Pablo University School of Medicine, Madrid, Spain.
Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Valencia Institute of Pathology, Catholic University of Valencia School of Medicine and Odontology, Valencia, Spain.



Prostate cancer frequently expresses an osteomimetic phenotype, but it is unclear how it is regulated and what biological and clinical implications it confers. Because mechanical forces physiologically regulate bone-remodeling activity in osteocytes, we hypothesized that mechanical action of fluid flow (MAFF) at the cancer microenvironment may similarly foster prostate cancer cell osteomimicry.


We showed that in vitro MAFF on androgen-dependent (LNCap) and androgen-independent (PC3) prostate cancer cells remarkably increased OPG, VEGF, RunX2, PTH1R, and PTHrP gene expression in both cell lines irrespective of their androgen dependency. MAFF also altered the cytokine secretion pattern of prostate cancer cells, including Ang2, SCF, and TNFα increase with TRAIL decrease in the supernatant of both cell lines; preferential increase of Leptin and PDGF-BB in LnCap and of VEGF, IL-8, and G-CSF in PC3; and exclusive increase of FGFβ, MIF, and PECAM-1 with HGF decrease in LnCap, and of TGBβ1, HGF, M-CSF, CXCL1, and CCL7 with NGF decrease in PC3. Murine MLO-Y4 osteocyte-conditioned medium (CM) abrogated M-CSF, G-CSG, IL-8, TNFα, and FGFβ secretion-stimulating activity of mechanical stimulation on PC3 cells, and did the opposite effect on LnCap cells. However, MAFF fostered osteomimetic gene expression response of PC3 cells, but not of LnCap cells, to mechanically stimulated osteocyte-CM. Moreover, it abrogated TNFα and IL-8 secretion inhibitory effect of osteocyte-CM on mechanically stimulated PC3 cells and G-CSF, TNFα, and FGFβ-stimulating effect on mechanically stimulated LnCap cells.


MAFF activated osteoblast-like phenotype of prostate cancer cells and altered their responses to osteocyte soluble factors. It also induced osteocyte production of osteomimetic gene expression- and cytokine secretion-stimulating factors for prostate cancer cells, particularly, when they were mechanically stimulated. Importantly, MAFF induced a prometastatic response in androgen-independent prostate cancer cells, suggesting the interest of mechanical stimulation-dependent transcription and secretion patterns as diagnostic biomarkers, and as therapeutic targets for the screening of bone-metastasizing phenotype inhibitors upregulated during prostate cancer cell response to MAFF at the cancer microenvironment. Prostate 77:321-333, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


androgen resistance; angiogenesis; bone remodeling; cancer microenvironment; gene expression; mechanical stimulation; metastasis; osteocyte; osteomimicry; prostate cancer; tumor interstitial fluid flow

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