BACKGROUND. Elevated expression of interleukin-6 (IL-6) is implicated in the progression of hormone refractory prostate cancer. Previous studies demonstrated that IL-6 promotes androgen-independent growth of prostate cancer cells. In this study, the effect of IL-6 on apoptosis induced by androgen deprivation was investigated. METHODS. The effect of IL-6 on apoptosis induced by androgen deprivation in LNCaP cells was examined by cell death ELISA and Western blot using cleaved poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) and caspase-9, as well as Bcl-XL and phosphorylated Bad. The Stat3 in IL-6-mediated anti-apoptosis in prostate cancer cells was examined using either dominant-negative or constitutively activated Stat3 mutants. RESULTS. Overexpression of IL-6 renders androgen sensitive LNCaP human prostate cancer cells more resistant to apoptosis induced by androgen deprivation. LNCaP cells undergo apoptosis after 72 hr of androgen deprivation, an outcome is largely absent in clones overexpressing IL-6 as measured by cell death ELISA and chromatin degradation assays. IL-6 over-expressing cells resulted in a significant decrease in the expression of cleaved PARP and cleaved caspase-9 as well as an increase in the expression of Bcl-XL and phosphorylated Bad. Addition of IL-6 antibody completely abolished the anti-apoptotic activity of IL-6. This protective effect of IL-6 was reversed by the expression of a dominant-negative Stat3 mutant, Stat3F. Furthermore, ectopic expression of a constitutively active Stat3 antagonized androgen deprivation-induced cell death of LNCaP cells. CONCLUSION. These results indicate that IL-6 protects androgen sensitive LNCaP cells from apoptosis induced by androgen deprivation, and Stat3 activation play an important role in IL-6-mediated anti-apoptosis in prostate cancer cells.
- Prostate cancer
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