Prostate cancer (PC) is a very common type of cancer in males and metastatic growth often leads to death. Connexins (Cx) are important to intercellular communication and may also play a role in metastasis. Cultured PC3 metastatic prostate cancer cells have high levels of Cx43 and readily migrate in Boyden chambers, a model for metastasis. We previously silenced Cx43 in PC3 cells and tested their migration in Boyden chamber assays. Silencing Cx34 reduced the motility of the migratory PC3 cells. Conversely, LNCaP prostate cancer cells are not migratory and express very little Cx43. We hypothesized that over-expressing Cx43 in LNCaP cells would enhance their motility. To test this, we transfected LNCaP cells with a Cx43 expression plasmid and used Boyden chamber migration to analyze their motility. Transfection of the LNCaP cells with the Cx43 expression plasmid increased migration 2-fold compared to the control empty expression plasmid. Knowing the role that Cx43 plays in cell motility can lead to new ways to target and treat metastatic prostate cancer.
Dr. Gail Fraizer
Prostate cancer (PC) is a very common type of cancer in males and when the cancer is able to move from its initial site to the surrounding tissues and organs often leads to death. Connexins (Cx) proteins are important for cell communication and motility. Some prostate cancer cells, PC3, express high amounts of Cx43 and are highly migratory. In contrast, others, LNCaP, do not express Cx43 and are not migratory. We have engineered LNCaP cells to express high levels of Cx43 and conversely, silenced Cx43 in PC3 cells. Silencing Cx34 reduced the motility of the migratory PC3 cells and over-expressing Cx43 in LNCaP cells enhanced their motility. Knowing that Cx43 affects cell motility can guide development of metastatic prostate cancer therapy.