Prostate cancers frequently metastasize to bone and this accounts for substantial morbidity. We investigated the potential role of the transcription factor NFkappaB as a central regulator of prostate cancer metastasis using the prostate adenocarcinoma cell line, PC-3, in a series of in vitro studies. Wild type PC-3 cells (PC-3.WT) have high basal levels of NFkappaB signaling, otherwise absent in PC-3 cells stably expressing a mutant form of the inhibitory kappa B (IkappaB) protein alpha (PC-3.mIkappaB). Although PC-3.WT cells in co-culture with rat bone marrow cells enhance bone resorption, no increase was observed in co-cultures with PC-3.mIkappaB cells. Similarly, although PC-3.WT cells were invasive in a chicken chorioallantoic membrane extravasation model, PC-3.mIkappaB cells lose this capacity to invade. NFkappaB reciprocally regulated genes involved in cellular invasion, with upregulation of MMP-9 and downregulation of its inhibitor, TIMP-1 in PC-3.WT cells, whereas MMP-9 was downregulated and TIMP-1 was upregulated in PC-3.mIkappaB cells. Finally, high basal gene and protein expression of the osteoclast-activating cytokine IL-6, observed in PC-3.WT cells, was absent in PC-3.mIkappaB cells. These in vitro experiments suggest NFkappaB as an important target to prevent prostate cancer bone metastasis and provide a rationale for further study of this transcription factor in metastatic disease.

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