Abasolo I, Montuenga LM, Calvo A. Adrenomedullin prevents apoptosis in prostate cancer cells. Regul Pept 2006 Jan 15;133(1-3):115-122.
The 52-aminoacid peptide adrenomedullin (AM) is expressed in the normal and malignant prostate. We have previously shown that prostate cancer cells produce and secrete AM, which acts as an autocrine growth inhibitory factor. We have evaluated in the present study the role of AM in prostate cancer cell apoptosis, induced either by serum deprivation or treatment with the chemotherapeutic agent etoposide (which acts as an inhibitor of topoisomerase II). For this purpose we over-expressed AM in PC-3, DU 145 and LNCaP cells, which were transfected with an expression vector carrying AM. We also treated the parental cell lines with synthetic AM in normal culture conditions and in conditions of induced-apoptosis. After serum removal, AM prevented apoptosis in DU 145 and PC-3 cells, but not in LNCaP cells. When treated with etoposide, AM prevented apoptosis in PC-3 and LNCaP cells, but not in DU 145 cells. Cell cycle analysis demonstrated a significant decrease in the percentage of AM-overexpressing PC-3 cells in the subG0/G1 phase after treatment with etoposide, as compared to the percentage of mock-transfected PC-3 treated cells. Western blot showed that protein levels of phosphorylated ERK1/2 increased in parental PC-3 cells after treatment with etoposide. In PC-3 cells overexpressing AM, phosphorylated ERK1/2 basal levels were lower than basal levels of parental PC-3 cells, and treatment with etoposide did not result in such an increase. Etoposide produced a significant increase in cleaved PARP in parental PC-3 cells. However, PC-3 clones overexpressing AM that were treated with etoposide only showed a mild increase in fragmented PARP. The ratio Bcl-2/Bax was reduced in parental or mock-transfected PC-3 cells after treatment with etoposide. On the contrary, this ratio was not reduced in PC-3 clones with AM overexpression that were treated with etoposide. All these data demonstrate that AM plays a protective role against induced apoptosis in prostate cancer cells. These results may have important implications in prostate cancer resistance to chemotherapeutic agents.