Distinct phenotypes of human prostate cancer cells associate with different adaptation to hypoxia and pro-inflammatory gene expression

Linda Ravenna, Lorenzo Principessa, Alessandra Verdina, Luisa Salvatori, Matteo Antonio Russo, Elisa Petrangeli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hypoxia and inflammation are strictly interconnected both concurring to prostate cancer progression. Numerous reports highlight the role of tumor cells in the synthesis of pro-inflammatory molecules and show that hypoxia can modulate a number of these genes contributing substantially to the increase of cancer aggressiveness. However, little is known about the importance of the tumor phenotype in this process. The present study explores how different features, including differentiation and aggressiveness, of prostate tumor cell lines impact on the hypoxic remodeling of pro-inflammatory gene expression and malignancy. We performed our studies on three cell lines with increasing metastatic potential: the well differentiated androgen-dependent LNCaP and the less differentiated and androgen-independent DU145 and PC3. We analyzed the effect that hypoxic treatment has on modulating pro-inflammatory gene expression and evaluated the role HIF isoforms and NF-kB play in sustaining this process. DU145 and PC3 cells evidenced a higher normoxic expression and a more complete hypoxic induction of pro-inflammatory molecules compared to the well differentiated LNCaP cell line. The role of HIF1α and NF-kB, the master regulators of hypoxia and inflammation respectively, in sustaining the hypoxic proinflammatory phenotype was different according to cell type. NF-kB was observed to play a main role in DU145 and PC3 cells in which treatment with the NF-kB inhibitor parthenolide was able to counteract both the hypoxic pro-inflammatory shift and HIF1α activation but not in LNCaP cells. Our data highlight that tumor prostate cell phenotype contributes at a different degree and with different mechanisms to the hypoxic pro-inflammatory gene expression related to tumor progression.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere96250
JournalPLoS One
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 6 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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