• Open Access

Progressive tumor features accompany epithelial–mesenchymal transition induced in mitochondrial DNA–depleted cells

Authors

  • Akihiro Naito,

    1. Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 4301 West Markham, Little Rock Arkansas 72205-7199, USA
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  • Cody C. Cook,

    1. Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 4301 West Markham, Little Rock Arkansas 72205-7199, USA
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  • Takatsugu Mizumachi,

    1. Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 4301 West Markham, Little Rock Arkansas 72205-7199, USA
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  • Mian Wang,

    1. Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 4301 West Markham, Little Rock Arkansas 72205-7199, USA
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  • Cheng-hui Xie,

    1. Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 4301 West Markham, Little Rock Arkansas 72205-7199, USA
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  • Teresa T. Evans,

    1. Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 4301 West Markham, Little Rock Arkansas 72205-7199, USA
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  • Thomas Kelly,

    1. Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, 4301 West Markham, Little Rock Arkansas 72205-7199, USA
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  • Masahiro Higuchi

    Corresponding author
      To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: mhiguchi@uams.edu
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To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: mhiguchi@uams.edu

Abstract

The growth of LNCaP, a human prostate adenocarcinoma cell line, and MCF-7, a human breast adenocarcinoma cell line, is initially hormone dependent. We previously demonstrated that LNρ0-8 and MCFρ0, derived from LNCaP and MCF-7 by depleting mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), exhibited hormone-independent growth that led to progressed phenotypes. Here, we demonstrate that LNρ0-8 and MCFρ0 have invasive characters as evaluated by the ability of invasion through the extracellular matrix (ECM) in vitro. In addition, the induction of vimentin and the repression of E-cadherin expression in ρ0 cells indicate that they are mesenchymal cells. Since LNρ0-8 and MCFρ0 were derived from epithelial cancer cell lines, LNCaP and MCF-7 must have lost epithelial features and gained the mesenchymal phenotype by epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) during the mtDNA depletion. In the ρ0 cell lines, the Raf/MAPK signaling cascade was highly activated together with the expressions of transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) and type I TGF-β receptor (TGF-βRI). EMT requires cooperation of TGF-β signaling with activation of the Raf/MAPK cascade, suggesting that EMT was induced in mtDNA depleted cells resulting in the acquisition of progressive tumor features, such as higher invasiveness and loss of hormone dependent growth. Our results indicate that decreasing mtDNA content induces EMT, enabling the progressive phenotypes observed in cancer. (Cancer Sci 2008; 99: 1584–1588)

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