Past Issue

Volume 12, Supplement 1,Winter 2011 (Presented at The 1st International Student Congress) Pages: 17-17

I-25: Perturbation of Dystroglycan Function in Adenocarcinoma: A New Marker and a New target in cancer


Prostate cancer (PCa) is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality, being one of the most prevalent cancers in males. In its most aggressive forms there is rapid growth and metastasis during which, cells detach from the primary tumour and migrate within the blood and lymphatic system to form metastases. Dystroglycan (DG) is a ubiquitously expressed transmembrane protein that provides a link between the extracellular matrix and the actin cytoskeleton. DG has been shown to be involved in a number of cellular processes including cell proliferation, differentiation, motility, polarity, signalling, basement membrane assembly and epithelial development. This important cell adhesion molecule is found in a number of tissue types and various cellular compartments where it is critical for maintaining normal cellular functions. Many investigations have suggested a role for DG in cancer progression due to a loss or reduction of DG in a number of human cancers. It is thought that modifications to DG and changes to its expression levels could possibly contribute to the processes involved in cancer progression. In this study the function, distribution and localisation of DG have been examined in the metastatic PCa cell line LNCaP. More specifically, these data have revealed that DG is extensively modified during increases in cell confluency in vitro, through both MMP mediated proteolysis and changes in glycosylation pattern. Furthermore, anchorage-independent growth assays and Transwell invasion studies have revealed that colony-forming and invasive capabilities of PCa cells are significantly affected by changes in DG levels. Reduced DG levels promoted growth in soft agar, whereas increased DG promoted Transwell invasion. The data presented in this study further implicates DG in PCa and possibly metastasis. Future investigations will help better understand the complexities and role(s) of DG in PCa and also aid in elucidating the mechanism(s) and consequences of DG alteration in the disease. Abstract of the 1st Int. Student Congress on Cell & Molecular Medicine