BACKGROUND - Although reduced expression levels of annexin I (ANX I) protein is a common finding in all stages of prostate cancer a causative relationship between ANX I dysregulation and prostate cancer development has yet to be established.
METHODS - Annexin I expression was restored in LNCaP and MDA PCa 2b that normally express low or undetectable levels of ANX I protein. The impact of restoring ANX I expression on cell viability, colony formation in soft agar, apoptosis, and extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK), p38, c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNK) activation was examined.
RESULTS - Restoring ANX I expression reduced cell viability, colony formation, in addition to inducing apoptosis. The proliferative response of epidermal growth factor was blocked by restoring ANX I expression. Furthermore, increasing basal and induced levels of phosphorylated p38 and JNK were observed in prostate cancer cells following restoration of ANX I expression.
CONCLUSIONS - Annexin I may have tumor suppressor functions in prostate cancer. The pro-apoptotic effect of ANX I involves the activation of p38 and JNK, which appears to shift the balance of signal transduction away from proliferation and toward apoptosis.