Chronic hypoxia promotes an aggressive phenotype in rat prostate cancer cells
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In general, tumors cells that are resistant to apoptosis and increase angiogenesis are a result of the hypoxic responses contributing to the malignant phenotype. In this study, we developed a chronic hypoxic cell model (HMLL), by incubating the prostate cancer MatLyLu cells in a hypoxic chamber (1% O(2)) over 3 weeks. Surviving cells were selected through each cell passage and were grown in the hypoxic condition up to 8 weeks. This strategy resulted in survival of only 5% of the cells. The surviving hypoxic cells displayed a greater stimulation on hypoxic adaptive response, including a greater expression of glucose transporter1 (Glut1) and VEGF secretion. In addition, higher invasion activity was observed in the chronic hypoxic HMLL cells as compared to MatLyLu cells exposed to acute hypoxia (1% O(2), 5 h) using the matrigel assay. To further examine the role of HIF-1alpha in tumor progression, both MatLyLu and HMLL cells were transfected with dominant-negative form of HIF-1alpha (DNHIF-1alpha). The Matrigel invasion activity induced by chronic hypoxia was significantly attenuated by DNHIF-1alpha. These results suggest that signaling pathways leading to hypoxic response may be differentially regulated in chronic hypoxic cells and acute hypoxic cells. Chronic hypoxia may play a greater role than acute hypoxia in promoting the aggressive phenotype of tumor cells. This observation mimics the clinical scenario where tumor cells following treatment with radiation are subjected to hypoxic conditions. The reemergence of tumor following treatment usually results in tumor cells that are more aggressive and metastatic.
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