Suppression of hepatocyte growth factor activator inhibitor-1 leads to a more aggressive phenotype of prostate cancer cells in vitro
- Andrew J. Sanders
- Christian Parr
- Malcolm D. Mason
- Wen G. Jiang
Published online on: October 1, 2007
The hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) pathway has been well documented as playing a vital role in the progression and development of many different types of human cancers; as such this pathway is usually tightly regulated. In cancer cells, the regulation of this pathway has been shown to be disrupted, allowing an increase in activation of pro-HGF to active HGF. There are a number of molecules capable of activating pro-HGF, such as matriptase-1, a type II transmembrane serine protease, or hepatocyte growth factor activator, and in turn, these are also subject to regulation. In the current study we examined the importance of hepatocyte growth factor activator inhibitor-1 (HAI-1) which is known to inhibit a number of HGF-activating molecules. We reduced the expression of this molecule in both PC-3 and DU-145 cell lines using hammerhead ribozyme technology, and we examined various important characteristics associated with cancer progression and development in vitro. Prostate cancer cells, after loss of HAI-1, had a significantly increased in vitro invasiveness together with an increase in cellular motility. Notably, loss of HAI-1 resulted in a slower rate of cell growth over a prolonged period (5 days). This in vitro evidence collectively suggests that the suppression of HAI-1 expression gives rise to a more aggressive cancer cell phenotype. This implies that therapies inducing the overexpression of HAI-1 or delivering an exogenous source of HAI-1 protein may hold potential as a treatment to slow the progression of prostate cancer.