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Cell Cycle. 2017 May 3;16(9):879-893. doi: 10.1080/15384101.2017.1310345. Epub 2017 Apr 20.

Transient exposure to androgens induces a remarkable self-sustained quiescent state in dispersed prostate cancer cells.

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a LBPA , UMR8113 ENS Cachan - CNRS, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Cachan , Cachan, Cedex , France.
b Institut Curie, PSL Research University, CNRS UMR3348, Université Paris-Saclay , Orsay , France.


Cellular quiescence is a reversible cell growth arrest that is often assumed to require a persistence of non-permissive external growth conditions for its maintenance. In this work, we showed that androgen could induce a quiescent state that is self-sustained in a cell-autonomous manner through a "hit and run" mechanism in androgen receptor-expressing prostate cancer cells. This phenomenon required the set-up of a sustained redox imbalance and TGFβ/BMP signaling that were dependent on culturing cells at low density. At medium cell density, androgens failed to induce such a self-sustained quiescent state, which correlated with a lesser induction of cell redox imbalance and oxidative stress markers like CDKN1A. These effects of androgens could be mimicked by transient overexpression of CDKN1A that triggered its own expression and a sustained SMAD phosphorylation in cells cultured at low cell density. Overall, our data suggest that self-sustained but fully reversible quiescent states might constitute a general response of dispersed cancer cells to stress conditions.


Androgen; BMP; CDKN1A; cellular quiescence; feedback loops; oxidative stress; prostate cancer

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