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How XMRV, if present in humans, could promote prostate cancer cell progression

  [ 32 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • September 20, 2011

XMRV accelerates cellular proliferation, transformational activity, and invasiveness of prostate cancer cells by downregulating p27Kip1
– Source: The Prostate, Sep 19, 2011

By J Pahdhare-Dash, C Dash, et al.

[Note: Thanks to Jan van Roijen’s Help ME Circle Bulletin for first news of this ‘early-view’ article. Send email for free membership to]

Background: Xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related retrovirus (XMRV) is a recently discovered gammaretrovirus that was originally detected in prostate tumors.

However, a causal relationship between XMRV and prostate cancer remains controversial due to conflicting reports on its etiologic occurrence.

Even though gammaretroviruses are known to induce cancer in animals, a mechanism for XMRV-induced carcinogenesis remains unknown.

Several mechanisms including insertional mutagenesis, proinflammatory effects, oncogenic viral proteins, immune suppression, and altered epithelial/stromal interactions have been proposed for a role of XMRV in prostate cancer.

However, biochemical data supporting any of these mechanisms are lacking. Therefore, our aim was to evaluate a potential role of XMRV in prostate carcinogenesis.

Methods: Growth kinetics of prostate cancer cells are conducted by MTT assay. In vitro transformation and invasion was carried out by soft agar colony formation, and Matrigel cell invasion assay, respectively.

p27Kip1 expression was determined by Western blot and MMP activation was evaluated by gelatin-zymography.

Up-regulation of miR221 and miR222 expression was examined by real-time PCR.

Results: We demonstrate that XMRV infection can accelerate cellular proliferation, enhance transformation, and increase invasiveness of slow growing prostate cancer cells.

The molecular basis of these viral induced activities is mediated by the downregulation of cyclin/cyclin dependent kinase inhibitor p27Kip1.

Downstream analyses illustrated that XMRV infection upregulates miR221 and miR222 expression that target p27Kip1 mRNA.

Conclusions: We propose that downregulation of p27Kip1 by XMRV infection facilitates transition of G1 to S, thereby accelerates growth of prostate cancer cells.

Our findings implicate that if XMRV is present in humans, then under appropriate cellular microenvironment it may serve as a cofactor to promote cancer progression in the prostate.

Source: The Prostate, Sep 19, 2011. DOI: 10.1002/pros.21491, by Pandhare-Dash J, Mantri CK, Gong Y, Chen Z, Dash C. Laboratory of Retrovirology and Epigenetics, Center for AIDS Health Disparities Research, Vanderbilt-Meharry Center For AIDS Research, and  Department of Biochemistry and Cancer Biology, Meharry Medical College School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee, USA. [Email:]

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