Expression of tissue factor and tissue factor pathway inhibitor in microparticles and subcellular fractions of normal and malignant prostate cell lines

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The association between cancer and thrombogenesis has been recognized since 1865, and tissue factor (TF) is important at various stages in the natural history of the disease. It is involved in cancer angiogenesis, growth and metastasis. TF pathway inhibitor (TFPI), being the major physiological regulator of the TF-dependent coagulation pathway, is also important in establishing net procoagulant potential. In this study, we determine TF and TFPI levels in three prostate epithelial cell lines, one of normal and two of malignant origin. Cells were grown in standard maintenance conditions and harvested at more than 90% confluence. These were fractionated into cytosol, membrane and nuclei for analysis. Microparticles secreted into the culture medium were also analysed. TF and TFPI levels were determined using an ELISA. TF expression in these cells was also visualized using immunocytochemistry. There was absence of TF and TFPI in nuclei of all cell lines. TF expression was higher in subcellular fractions and microparticles of normal prostate cells than cancer cells. In contrast, levels of TFPI (structurally resembling a secreted, rather than transmembrane protein) in microparticles of normal prostate cells were much lower than tumour cells. In conclusion, the activity of prostate cancer cells themselves is unlikely to be the source of hypercoagulability in patients, but might precipitate chains of events that would produce such an effect.

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