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Mol Cancer Ther. 2006 Feb;5(2):219-29.

Protein tyrosine phosphatase PRL-3 in malignant cells and endothelial cells: expression and function.

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Genzyme Corp., 1 Mountain Road, Framingham, MA 01701, USA.


Protein tyrosine phosphatase PRL-3 mRNA was found highly expressed in colon cancer endothelium and metastases. We sought to associate a function with PRL-3 expression in both endothelial cells and malignant cells using in vitro models. PRL-3 mRNA levels were determined in several normal human endothelial cells exposed or unexposed to the phorbol ester phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) and in 27 human tumor cell lines. In endothelial cells, PRL-3 mRNA expression was increased in human umbilical vascular endothelial cells and human microvascular endothelial cells (HMVEC) exposed to PMA. An oligonucleotide microarray analysis revealed that PRL-3 was among the 10 genes with the largest increase in expression on PMA stimulation. Phenotypically, PMA-treated HMVEC showed increased invasion, tube formation, and growth factor-stimulated proliferation. A flow cytometric analysis of cell surface markers showed that PMA-treated HMVEC retained endothelial characteristics. Infection of HMVEC with an adenovirus expressing PRL-3 resulted in increased tube formation. In tumor cells, PRL-3 mRNA levels varied markedly with high expression in SKNAS neuroblastoma, MCF-7 and BT474 breast carcinoma, Hep3B hepatocellular carcinoma, and HCT116 colon carcinoma. Western blotting analysis of a subset of cell line lysates showed a positive correlation between PRL-3 mRNA and protein levels. PRL-3 was stably transfected into DLD-1 colon cancer cells. PRL-3-overexpressing DLD-1 subclones were assessed for doubling time and invasion. Although doubling time was similar among parental, empty vector, and PRL-3 subclones, invasion was increased in PRL-3-expressing subclones. In models of endogenous expression, we observed that the MCF-7 cell line, which expresses high levels of PRL-3, was more invasive than the SKBR3 cell line, which expresses low levels of PRL-3. However, the MDA-MB-231 cell line was highly invasive with low levels of PRL-3, suggesting that in some models invasion is PRL-3 independent. Transfection of a PRL-3 small interfering RNA into MCF-7 cells inhibited PRL-3 expression and cell invasion. These results indicate that PRL-3 is functional in both endothelial cells and malignant cells and further validate PRL-3 as a potentially important molecular target for anticancer therapy.

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