Chromosomal translocations leading to deregulated expression of ETS transcription factors are frequent in prostate tumors. Here, we report a novel mechanism leading to oncogenic activation of the ETS factor ESE1/ELF3 in prostate tumors. ESE1/ELF3 was overexpressed in human primary and metastatic tumors. It mediated transforming phenotypes in vitro and in vivo and induced an inflammatory transcriptome with changes in relevant oncogenic pathways. ESE1/ELF3 was induced by interleukin (IL)-1β through NF-kB and was a crucial mediator of the phenotypic and transcriptional changes induced by IL-1β in prostate cancer cells. This linkage was mediated by interaction of ESE1/ELF3 with the NF-κB subunits p65 and p50, acting by enhancing their nuclear translocation and transcriptional activity and by inducing p50 transcription. Supporting these findings, gene expression profiling revealed an enrichment of NF-kB effector functions in prostate cancer cells or tumors expressing high levels of ESE1/ELF3. We observed concordant upregulation of ESE1/ELF3 and NF-κB in human prostate tumors that was associated with adverse prognosis. Collectively, our results define an important new mechanistic link between inflammatory signaling and the progression of prostate cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research