The ability of Frzb/secreted Frizzled-related protein 3 (sFRP3) to inhibit Wnt signaling and the localization of Frzb/sFRP3 on chromosome 2q to a region frequently deleted in cancers have led some investigators to hypothesize that Frzb/sFRP3 is a tumor suppressor gene. Here, we examined the biological effects of Frzb/sFRP3 on an androgen-independent prostate cancer cell model. We showed that expression of Frzb/sFRP3 in PC-3 cells resulted in decreased colony formation in soft agar and a dramatic inhibition of tumor growth in a xenograft mouse model. When cellular morphology was examined, PC-3 cells expressing Frzb/sFRP3 exhibited an increase in cell-cell contact formation accompanied by a pronounced induction of epithelial markers E-cadherin and keratin-8 and down-regulation of mesenchymal markers N-cadherin, fibronectin, and vimentin. This phenomenon suggested a reversal of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and a less invasive phenotype. Indeed, further in vitro studies with a Matrigel assay showed that Frzb/sFRP3 decreased the invasive capacity of PC-3 cells. These changes in the biology of PC-3 cells are associated with a decrease in the expression and activities of both matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and MMP-9 as well as decreases in AKT activation, cytosolic β-catenin levels, T-cell factor transcription activity, and expression of Slug and Twist. In addition, transfection of PC-3 with a dominant-negative low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 5 (DN-LRP5) coreceptor showed similar biological effects as Frzb/sFRP3 transfection. Together, these data suggest that Frzb/sFRP3 and DN-LRP5 exhibit antitumor activity through the reversal of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and inhibition of MMP activities in a subset of prostate cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research