T-type calcium channels drive the proliferation of androgen-receptor negative prostate cancer cells

Silvestri, Roberto; Pucci, Perla; Venalainen, Erik; Matheou, Chrysanthi; Mather, Rebecca; Chandler, Stephen; Aceto, Romina; Rigas, Sushila; Wang, Yuzhuo; Rietdorf, Katja; Bootman, Martin and Crea, Francesco (2019). T-type calcium channels drive the proliferation of androgen-receptor negative prostate cancer cells. The Prostate, 79(13) pp. 1580–1586.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/pros.23879


Background: Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is the treatment of choice for metastatic prostate cancer (PCa). After an initial response to ADT, PCa cells can generate castration resistant (CRPC) or neuroendocrine (NEPC) malignancies, which are incurable. T-type calcium channels (TTCCs) are emerging as promising therapeutic targets for several cancers, but their role in PCa progression has never been investigated.

Methods: To examine the role of TTCCs in PCa, we analyzed their expression level, copy number variants (CNV) and prognostic significance using clinical datasets (Oncomine and cBioPortal). We then evaluated TTCC expression in a panel of PCa cell lines and measured the effect of their inhibition on cell proliferation and survival using 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) and caspase assays.

Results: TTCCs were upregulated in PCas harboring androgen receptor (AR) mutations; CNV rate was positively associated with PCa progression. Higher expression of one TTCC isoform (CACNA1G) predicted poorer postoperative prognosis in early stage PCa samples. Pharmacological or small interfering RNA (siRNA)-based inhibition of TTCCs caused a decrease in PC-3 cell survival and proliferation.

Conclusions: Our results show that TTCCs are overexpressed in advanced forms of PCa and correlate with a poorer prognosis. TTCC inhibition reduces cell proliferation and survival, suggesting that there may be possible value in the therapeutic targeting of TTCCs in advanced PCa.

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