Clusterin (CLU) and Prostate Cancer

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Abstract

The role of clusterin (CLU) in prostate tumorigenesis is probably the most highly controversial, with evidence that CLU expression is increased or decreased in different cancer models. For example, some studies showed that CLU expression is increased in advanced stages of prostate cancer and that suppression of CLU expression sensitizes prostate cancer cells to chemotherapeutic drugs killing. In contrast with the hypothesis that CLU is a positive modulator of prostate cancer, we and others have observed that CLU is downregulated during human prostate cancer progression. Accordingly, a meta-analysis of available microarray data shows that CLU mRNA is significantly downregulated in prostate cancer tissue compared to normal prostate in 14 out of 15 independent studies. Recently, it was shown that CLU is silenced by promoter methylation in the murine TRAMP-C2 cell line, as well as in the human prostate cancer cell line LNCaP. Consistently, CLU expression was found to be significantly reduced in untreated and hormone-refractory human prostate carcinomas. This data suggest the importance of epigenetic events in the regulation of CLU in prostate cancer, supporting the idea that prostate cell transformation at early stages requires CLU silencing through chromatin remodeling.

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