Indexed on: 03 May '06Published on: 03 May '06Published in: The Prostate
Neuroendocrine (NE) cells are present in normal prostate and their number appears to be increased in advanced prostate cancer (PCA). In this study, we studied the effect of the phytoestrogen, genistein, on NE differentiation of LNCaP cells in vitro.Neuroendocrine marker expression of LNCaP cells exposed to genistein was measured by immunohistochemistry, Western blot, and real-time PCR methods. Western blot analysis was used to study cell cycle and signaling pathways induced by genistein treatment.Six days after continuous genistein treatment, the majority of genistein-surviving cancer cells underwent transdifferentiation into a NE-like phenotype overexpressing the NE markers chromogranin A, synaptophysin, serotonin, and beta-III tubulin. This NE differentiation process was associated with upregulation of the cell cycle modulators p21, p27, and p53, and activation of the MAPK and STAT3 pathways.Our data indicate that genistein evokes not only apoptosis but also NE transdifferentiation of PCA cells.