E2F5 promotes prostate cancer cell migration and invasion through regulation of TFPI2, MMP-2 and MMP-9

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Previously, our laboratory demonstrated that a deregulated E2F5/p38/SMAD3 axis was associated with uncontrolled cellular proliferation in prostate cancer (PCa). Here, we investigate the role of E2F5 in PCa in further details. RNAi-mediated E2F5 knockdown and pathway-focused gene expression profiling in PC3 cells identified TFPI2 as a downstream target of E2F5. Manipulation of E2F5 expression was also found to alter MMP-2 and MMP-9 levels as detected by Proteome Profiler array, western blot and reverse transcription coupled quantitative polymerase chain reaction Site-directed mutagenesis, dual-luciferase assays and chromatin immunoprecipitation with anti-E2F5-IgG coupled with qPCR confirmed recruitment of E2F5 on TFPI2, MMP-2 and MMP-9 promoters. RNAi-mediated knockdown of E2F5 expression in PC3 caused a significant alteration of cell migration while that of TFFI2 resulted in a modest change. Abrogation of E2F5 and TFPI2 expression was associated with significant changes in the gelatinolytic activity of active forms of MMP-2 and MMP-9. Moreover, E2F5, MMP-2 and MMP-9 levels were elevated in biopsies of PCa patients relative to that of benign hyperplasia, while TFPI2 expression was reduced. MMP-9 was coimmunoprecipitated with anti-TFPI2-IgG in PCa tissue samples suggesting a direct interaction between the proteins. Finally, artemisinin treatment in PC3 cells repressed E2F5 along with MMP-2/MMP-9 while triggering TFPI2 expression which alleviated PC3 aggressiveness possibly through inhibition of MMP activities. Together, our study reinstates an oncogenic role of E2F5 which operates as a dual-function transcription factor for its targets TFPI2, MMP-2 and MMP-9 and promotes cellular invasiveness. This study also indicates a therapeutic potential of artemisinin, a natural compound which acts by correcting dysfunctional E2F5/TFPI2/MMP axis in PCa.

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