Cellular senescence forms a barrier that inhibits the acquisition of an immortal phenotype, a critical feature in tumorigenesis. The inactivation of multiple pathways that positively regulate senescence are required for immortalization. To identify these pathways in an unbiased manner, we performed DNA microarray analyses to assess the expression of 20,000 genes in human prostate epithelial cells (HPECs) passaged to senescence. These gene expression patterns were then compared with those of HPECs immortalized with the human Papillomavirus 16 E7 oncoprotein. Senescent cells display gene expression patterns that reflect their nonproliferative, differentiated phenotype and express secretory proteases and extracellular matrix components. A comparison of genes transcriptionally up-regulated in senescence to those in which expression is significantly down-regulated in immortalized HPECs identified three genes: the chemokine BRAK, DOC1, and a member of the insulin-like growth factor axis, IGFBP-3. Expression of these genes is found to be uniformly lost in human prostate cancer cell lines and xenografts, and previously, their inactivation was documented in tumor samples. Thus, these genes may function in novel pathways that regulate senescence and are inactivated during immortalization. These changes may be critical not only in allowing cells to bypass senescence in vitro but in the progression of prostate cancer in vivo.
View details for DOI 10.1074/jbc.M200373200
View details for Web of Science ID 000175203000068
View details for PubMedID 11836256