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Title: Novel signalling pathways regulating epithelial-mesenchymal transition in bone metastatic prostate cancer
Author: Rao, Srinivasa Rao
ISNI:       0000 0004 5353 1315
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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Prostate cancer (PCa) cells predominantly metastasize to bone and the complex crosstalk between PCa cells and osteoblasts (bone-forming cells) and osteoclasts (bone-destroying cells) leads to increased tumour growth and worsening of bone disease. Understanding the mechanisms of PCa bone metastasis can identify the aggressive fraction of PCa resulting in earlier intervention. The ability of PCa cells to express bone cell-specific features, termed osteomimicry, could potentially explain the osteotropic nature of PCa cells. The aim of this study was to determine the role of osteomimicry in the regulation of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in bone metastatic prostate cancer cells. It was demonstrated that the osteoblast-specific marker alkaline phosphatase (bone/liver/kidney) (ALPL) was overexpressed in bone metastatic (ARCaPM), compared to non-metastatic (ARCaPE), human PCa cells. Knockdown of ALPL resulted in decreased cell viability, increased cell death and a change from mesenchymal to epithelial morphology in ARCaPM and PC3 cells, and increased CDH1 expression along with decreased migration in ARCaPM cells. Treatment with extracellular ATP also resulted in decreased viability, increased expression of epithelial markers (CDH1, KRT14) and decreased expression of mesenchymal markers (VIM, ZEB1), and reduced expression of ALPL in ARCaPM cells. Small RNA-sequencing identified microRNAs differentially expressed between ARCaPE and ARCaPM PCa cell lines: miR-373 expression was lower in ARCaPM compared to ARCaPE cells and its overexpression in ARCaPM cells resulted in a change to epithelial morphology, increased expression of the epithelial marker CDH1 and decreased expression of the mesenchymal markers VIM and ZEB1. Finally, the development of a high-throughput screening method to identify novel microRNA regulators of osteomimicry was described, which identified two microRNAs miR-199a-5p and miR-212 as positive regulators of ALP activity. Taken together, this thesis describes the identification of ALPL and ATP as novel regulators of epithelial-mesenchymal transition in PCa cells and high-throughput ALP-activity screening as a powerful tool to identify novel microRNA regulators of ALP expression.
Supervisor: Edwards, Claire M.; Hamdy, Freddie C. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Oncology ; Tumours ; Biology (medical sciences) ; prostate ; cancer ; signal transduction ; microrna ; purinergic signalling ; epithelial-mesenchymal transition