BACKGROUND. Oxidative stress plays a role in prostate cancer (PrCa) initiation and development. Selenoprotein-P (SepP; a protein involved in antioxidant defence) mRNA levels are down-regulated in PrCa. The main goal of our study was to assess whether SepP protects prostate cells from reactive oxygen species (ROS) in prostate carcinogenesis. METHODS. Modification of SepP levels and ROS conditions in C3(1)/Tag-derived cell lines representing prostate epithelial neoplasia (PIN) lesions (Pr-111, with high SepP expression); and invasive tumors (Pr-14, with very low SepP expression). RESULTS. Both Pr-111 and Pr-14 cells express ApoER2 (SepP receptor), which suggests that they may uptake SepP. Pr-14 cells had much higher ROS levels than Pr-111 cells and were highly sensitive to H2O2-mediated cytotoxicity. When SepP mRNA levels were knocked down with siRNAs in Pr-111 cells, a significant increase in ROS and cell growth inhibition upon H2O2 exposure was found. Subsequent administration of purified SepP in the culture medium of these cells was able to rescue the original phenotype. Similarly, administration of SepP to Pr-14 cells was able to reduce ROS concentrations. Administration of flutamide decreased SepP mRNA levels whereas dihydrotestosterone or synthetic androgens induced SepP expression, indicating the importance of androgens for SepP expression. Immunohistochemical analysis using a PrCa tissue microarray further revealed that SepP protein was reduced in 60.8% prostate tumors compared to benign prostates. CONCLUSIONS. Levels of SepP in prostate cells determine basal ROS levels and sensitivity to H2O2-induced cytotoxicity. Deregulation of SepP during prostate carcinogenesis may increase free radicals, thus promoting tumor development and de-differentiation.
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