Cytoplasmic PML promotes TGF-β-associated epithelial-mesenchymal transition and invasion in prostate cancer.
Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a key event that is involved in the invasion and dissemination of cancer cells. Although typically considered as having tumour-suppressive properties, transforming growth factor (TGF)-β signalling is altered during cancer and has been associated with the invasion of cancer cells and metastasis. In this study, we report a previously unknown role for the cytoplasmic promyelocytic leukaemia (cPML) tumour suppressor in TGF-β signalling-induced regulation of prostate cancer-associated EMT and invasion. We demonstrate that cPML promotes a mesenchymal phenotype and increases the invasiveness of prostate cancer cells. This event is associated with activation of TGF-β canonical signalling pathway through the induction of Sma and Mad related family 2 and 3 (SMAD2 and SMAD3) phosphorylation. Furthermore, the cytoplasmic localization of promyelocytic leukaemia (PML) is mediated by its nuclear export in a chromosomal maintenance 1 (CRM1)-dependent manner. This was clinically tested in prostate cancer tissue and shown that cytoplasmic PML and CRM1 co-expression correlates with reduced disease-specific survival. In summary, we provide evidence of dysfunctional TGF-β signalling occurring at an early stage in prostate cancer. We show that this disease pathway is mediated by cPML and CRM1 and results in a more aggressive cancer cell phenotype. We propose that the targeting of this pathway could be therapeutically exploited for clinical benefit.
- Pathology 
Van Schalkwyk, Gerhard