Apolipoprotein e gene polymorphism influences aggressive behavior in prostate cancer cells by deregulating cholesterol homeostasis

Academic Article


  • High circulating cholesterol and its deregulated homeostasis may facilitate prostate cancer progression. Genetic polymorphism in Apolipoprotein (Apo) E, a key cholesterol regulatory protein may effect changes in systemic cholesterol levels. In this investigation, we determined whether variants of the Apo E gene can trigger defective intracellular cholesterol efflux, which could promote aggressive prostate cancer. ApoE genotypes of weakly (non-aggressive), moderate and highly tumorigenic (aggressive) prostate cancer cell lines were characterized, and we explored whether the ApoE variants were associated with tumor aggressiveness generated by intracellular cholesterol imbalance, using the expression of caveolin-1 (cav-1), a pro-malignancy surrogate of cholesterol overload. Restriction isotyping of ApoE isoforms revealed that the non-aggressive cell lines carried ApoE 3/3 or 3/4 alleles, while the aggressive cell lines carried the Apo2/4 alleles. Our data suggest a contrast between the non-aggressive and the aggressive prostate cancer cell lines in the pattern of cholesterol efflux and cav-1 expression. Our exploratory results suggest a relationship between prostate aggressiveness, ApoE isoforms and cholesterol imbalance. Further investigation of this relationship may elucidate the molecular basis for considering cholesterol as a risk factor of aggressive prostate tumors, and underscore the potential of the dysfunctional ApoE2/E4 isoform as a biomarker of aggressive disease.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Ifere GO; Desmond R; Demark-Wahnefried W; Nagy TR
  • Start Page

  • 1002
  • End Page

  • 1010
  • Volume

  • 43
  • Issue

  • 4