NKX3.1 is a homeobox gene that codes for a haploinsufficient prostate cancer tumor suppressor. NKX3.1 protein levels are down-regulated in the majority of primary prostate cancer tissues. NKX3.1 expression in PC-3 cells increased insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) mRNA expression 10-fold as determined by expression microarray analysis. In both stably and transiently transfected PC-3 cells and in LNCaP cells, XKX3.I expression increased IGFBP-3 mRNA and protein expression. In prostates of Nkx3.1 gene-targeted mice Igfbp-3 mRNA levels correlated with Nkx3.1 copy number. NKX3.1 expression in PC-3 cells attenuated the ability of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) to induce phosphorylation of type I IGF receptor (IGF-IR), insulin receptor substrate 1, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, and AKT. The effect of NKX3.1 on IGF-I signaling was not seen when cells were exposed to long-R3-IGF-I, an IGF-I variant peptide that does not bind to IGFBP-3. Additionally, small interfering RNA-induced knockdown of IGFBP-3 expression partially reversed the attenuation of IGF-IR signaling by NKX3.1 and abrogated XKX3.I suppression of PC-3 cell proliferation. Thus, there is a close relationship in vitro and in vivo between NKX3.1 and IGFBP-3. The growth-suppressive effects of NKX3.1 in prostate cells are mediated, in part, by activation of IGFBP-3 expression.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research