Inhibition of cyclooxygenase-2-mediated matriptase activation contributes to the suppression of prostate cancer cell motility and metastasis

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Chronic inflammation plays an important role in cancer development and progression. Cyclooxygenases-2 (COX-2) is a key enzyme in generating prostaglandins causing inflammation, is often found to be overexpressed in prostate cancer (PCa) and is correlated with PCa cell invasion and metastasis. We aim to investigate the molecular mechanism of how COX-2 promotes PCa cell invasion and metastasis and to evaluate the effect of COX-2 inhibitors in a selected model of PCa progression. Our results showed that the expression of COX-2 and Interleukin 1β (IL-1β) was upregulated in highly invasive PCa cells and was correlated with the activated levels of membrane-anchored serine protease matriptase. The expression levels of COX-2 were increased and were correlated with matriptase levels in PCa specimens. Moreover, results showed that COX-2 overexpression or a COX-2 product Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) caused an increase in matriptase activation and PCa cell invasion, whereas COX-2 silencing antagonized matriptase activation and cell invasion. In addition, the inhibition of COX-2-mediated matriptase activation by Celebrex and sulindac sulfide suppressed the androgen-independent and COX2-overexpressing PCa PC-3 cell invasion, tumor growth and lung metastasis in an orthotopic xenograft model. Our results indicate that COX-2/matriptase signaling contributes to the invasion, tumor growth and metastasis of COX-2-overexpressing and androgen-independent PCa cells.

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