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Scientists find protein spurs spread of prostate cancer
Date:5/19/2010

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In this study, the researchers found that Stat5 is activated in 61 percent of distant metastases of clinical human prostate cancers. Gene expression profiling indicated that 21 percent of Stat5-regulated genes were related to metastases, 7.9 percent were related to proliferation, and 3.9 percent were linked to cell death.

Digging deeper, they found that active Stat5 expression induced rearrangement of parts of the cytoskeleton of prostate cancer cells and suppressed expression of proteins that bind cells to each other activities that help ready a cell to migrate from a tumor.

Then they made a key finding. When they injected human prostate cancer cells that over-expressed Stat5 into mice, they found that the cancer readily spread to the lungs.

"This result is important because laboratory observations on invasiveness or migration of cells in culture do not necessarily translate into cells having the ability to metastasize in animals," Dr. Nevalainen said. "This work provides the first evidence of the involvement of Stat5 in metastatic progression of human prostate cancer cells in a living system."

The findings need to be replicated in other studies, which are now ongoing. She said they want to use other model systems of metastatic prostate cancer to evaluate whether Stat5 is involved in prostate cancer that spreads to the lymph nodes or to bones.

The normal function of Stat5 is also not yet known, Dr. Nevalainen said.


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Contact: Emily Shafer
emily.shafer@jefferson.edu
215-955-6300
Thomas Jefferson University
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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