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Oncogene. 2007 Dec 6;26(55):7647-55. Epub 2007 Jun 11.

Knockdown of astrocyte-elevated gene-1 inhibits prostate cancer progression through upregulation of FOXO3a activity.

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Department of Urology, Veterans Affairs Medical Center and University of California, San Francisco, CA 94121, USA.


Astrocyte-elevated gene-1 (AEG-1) has been reported to be upregulated in several malignancies and play a critical role in Ha-ras-mediated oncogenesis through the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/AKT signaling pathway. However, the role of AEG-1 in prostate cancer (PC) has never been reported. We now show that AEG-1 is overexpressed in clinical PC tissue samples and cultured PC cells compared to benign prostatic hyperplasia tissue samples and normal prostate epithelial cells. Interestingly, AEG-1 knockdown induced cell apoptosis through upregulation of forkhead box (FOXO) 3a activity. This alteration of FOXO3a activity was dependent on reduction of AKT activity in LNCaP and PC-3 cells with high constitutive AKT activity, but not in DU145 cells with low constitutive AKT activity, although AEG-1 knockdown had no impact on phosphatase and tensin homolog expression in these cells. AEG-1 knockdown also attenuated the constitutive activity of the nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB) and the activator protein 1 (AP-1) with a corresponding depletion in the expression of NF-kappaB and AP-1-regulated genes (interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8 and matrix metalloproteinase-9) and significantly decreased cell invasion properties of PC-3 and DU145 cells. Overall, our findings suggest that aberrant AEG-1 expression plays a dominant role as a positive auto-feedback activator of AKT and as a suppressor of FOXO3a in PC cells. AEG-1 may therefore represent a novel genetic biomarker to serve as an attractive molecular target for new anticancer agents to prevent PC cell progression and metastasis.

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