PCa is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in men after skin cancer [1, 2]. Increased public awareness and advances in diagnostic tools have helped detect this disease at an early stage, i.e., when the tumor is localized to the prostate gland. Unfortunately, 2.5% of patients will suffer from metastasis and eventually die from associated complications . Patients with advanced PCa initially respond to hormone therapy to decrease testosterone levels, but often develop refractive tumors. In addition, and for yet not fully defined reasons, this advanced stage (hormone refractory) is associated with high incidences of PCa spread to bones [4–6]. It is thought that the bone microenvironment composition (e.g., mineralized bone matrix, growth factors, etc.) and its physical properties (e.g., hypoxia, acidic pH, extracellular calcium, etc.) provide a favorable milieu for tumor invasion and growth [7–9].
Malignant cells exhibit aberrant expression of particular chemokine receptors relative to their normal counterparts [10–15]. We have recently shown that prostate carcinomas differentially express CXCR5 and its expression positively correlates with stage and grade . CXCR5 is a seven transmembrane G-protein coupled receptor for the chemokine CXCL13. The CXCR5 gene is specifically expressed in Burkitt's lymphoma and lymphatic tissue and plays an essential role in B cell migration. We demonstrated that CXCR5-bearing PCa cell lines selectively express certain MMP in response to CXCL13 [16–18]. One means by which the bone microenvironment is thought to recruit PCa cells is through bone expression of CXCL13 . Thus, by virtue of its presence in the bone microenvironment, we hypothesized that CXCL13-CXCR5 interactions help to regulate PCa cell migration and invasion.
LNCaP and PC3 cell lines are extensively used models to study cell signaling that may occur during PCa progression [20, 21]. LNCaP cells are androgen-dependent and express prostate specific antigen (PSA), whereas PC3 cells are androgen-independent and are unable to secrete PSA. The acquired hormone-refractory properties have been linked to the high skeletal metastatic potential of PC3 cells compared to a lower potential of the hormone-responsive LNCaP cells. These and other differences allow LNCaP and PC3 cell systems to provide meaningful insights into specific cellular events involved in PCa spread to bones. In this study, we use LNCaP and PC3 cell lines to elucidate the differences in CXCR5-mediated signaling related to cell migration and invasion, compared to a normal prostatic epithelial cell line (RWPE-1).
PI3K(s) are central signaling molecules activated through chemokine receptor-mediated signaling . Chemokine receptors are coupled to heterotrimeric G proteins α, β, and γ, which subsequently activate Class IA and IB PI3Ks, respectively. Class IA PI3Ks consist of three catalytic isoforms - p110α, p110β, and p110δ, which associate with a p85α regulatory subunit, whereas Class IB PI3Ks are comprised of p101 regulatory and p110γ catalytic subunits. Following activation, PI3K catalyzes the conversion of phosphoinositide 4,5-biphosphate (PIP2) to generate phosphoinositide 3,4,5-triphosphate (PIP3) [23–27]. This reaction can be counterbalanced by the action of the lipid phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome ten (PTEN). However, PTEN is frequently lost in PCa leading to accumulation of PIP3, which activates Akt- and ERK-dependent signaling leading to enhanced cell migration and invasion [28–30]. On the other hand, DOCK2, a novel member of the Caenorhabditis elegans Ced-5, mammalian DOCK180, and Drosophila melanogaster MyoblastCity (CDM) family of scaffold proteins, has been shown to regulate cytoskeletal dynamics by activating Rac isoforms [31, 32] and directing lymphocyte and neutrophil chemotaxis [33–35]. To our knowledge, the role of DOCK2 in PCa progression, and specifically in tumor cell migration and invasion, has not been studied. In addition, PCa cell invasion is a complex process, which also includes changes in cell adhesion mediated in part through the FAK and Src [36–39]. Indeed, aberrant FAK and Src activation has been correlated with increased tumor growth and metastasis following chemokine-mediated signaling. Here we report on the role of PI3K, DOCK2, Src, and FAK in PCa cells and reveal some of the molecular mechanisms of CXCL13-CXCR5 interaction that mediate PCa cell invasion and migration.