Cadmium, a widespread toxic pollutant of occupational and environmental concern, is a known human carcinogen. The prostate is a potential target for cadmium carcinogenesis, although the underlying mechanisms are still unclear. Furthermore, cadmium may induce cell death by apoptosis in various cell types, and it has been hypothesized that a key factor in cadmium-induced malignant transformation is acquisition of apoptotic resistance. We investigated the in vitro effects produced by cadmium exposure in normal or tumor cells derived from human prostate epithelium, including RWPE-1 and its cadmium-transformed derivative CTPE, the primary adenocarcinoma 22Rv1 and CWR-R1 cells and LNCaP, PC-3 and DU145 metastatic cancer cell lines. Cells were treated for 24 hours with different concentrations of CdCl 2 and apoptosis, cell cycle distribution and expression of tumor suppressor proteins were analyzed. Subsequently, cellular response to cadmium was evaluated after siRNA-mediated p53 silencing in wild type p53-expressing RWPE-1 and LNCaP cells, and after adenoviral p53 overexpression in p53-deficient DU145 and PC-3 cell lines. The cell lines exhibited different sensitivity to cadmium, and 24-hour exposure to different CdCl 2 concentrations induced dose- and cell type-dependent apoptotic response and inhibition of cell proliferation that correlated with accumulation of functional p53 and overexpression of p21 in wild type p53-expressing cell lines. On the other hand, p53 silencing was able to suppress cadmium-induced apoptosis. Our results demonstrate that cadmium can induce p53-dependent apoptosis in human prostate epithelial cells and suggest p53 mutation as a possible contributing factor for the acquisition of apoptotic resistance in cadmium prostatic carcinogenesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)