Kallikrein 4 Is a Potential Mediator of Cellular Interactions Between Cancer Cells and Osteoblasts in Metastatic Prostate Cancer
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BACKGROUND. Prostate cancer (PCa) and bone cell interactions are critical in the metastatic phase. Kallikrein 4 (KLK4/hK4) is expressed in both PCa and mineralized tissues. We determined if KLK4/hK4 expression was associated with, and influenced by, the bone environment of metastatic PCa. METHODS. Immunohistochemistry, in vitro co-culture, cell migration, and attachment assays. RESULTS. hK4 was localized to tumor cells and osteoblasts in bone metastases. KLK4/hK4 increased in LNCaP and PC3 cells co-cultured with SaOs2 cells; SaOs2 KLK4/hK4 was unchanged. Co-culture did not affect cell proliferation but altered alkaline phosphatase activity/mRNA levels in SaOs2 cells. KLK4-transfected PC3 cells had increased migration towards SaOs2 conditioned medium and greater attachment to the bone-matrix proteins, collagens I and IV. CONCLUSIONS. hK4 expression and interaction with both tumor cells and osteoblasts suggests a role for hK4 in PCa bone metastasis. Whether this observation is unique to bone metastasis or reflects a role for hK4 in PCa metastasis generally is yet to be established.