Prostate transglutaminase (TGase-4) induces epithelialto-mesenchymal transition in prostate cancer cells

Richard J. Ablin, Sioned Owen, Wen G. Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


More men die with prostate cancer (PCA) than from it. However, once PCA is no longer organ-confined, it is associated with significant mortality. Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is one mechanism facilitating progression in cancer. Our studies of transglutaminase-4 (TGase-4), a member of the TGase family, expressed in the prostate gland, have implicated it in the regulation of the invasive properties of PCA. The present study investigated the role of TGase-4 on EMT of PCA cells. Materials and Methods: A panel of PCA cell lines: CA-HPV-10, PZ-HPV-7, PC-3 and DU-145 were used. An anti- TGase-4 transgene was constructed to eliminate the expression of TGase-4 in CA-HPV-10 (positive for TGase-4). An expression construct for human TGase-4 was used to transfect PCA cells negative for TGase-4. The pattern of E-cadherin, N-cadherin and vimentin in these cells were evaluated using immunofluorescent staining. Cell motility was assessed using scratch wounding and ekectric cell-substrate impedance sensing (ECIS) assays. Results: Treatment of PZ-HPV-7 and CA-HPV- 10 cells with rhTGase-4 resulted in a significant increase in cell migration (1,407.9 Ω±6.4 Ω vs. 1,691.2 Ω±8.3 Ω in non-treated and rhTGase-4 treated cells, respectively, p<0.01). Cells strongly expressing E-cadherin showed substantial changes of E-cadherin staining in that, after treatment with TGase-4, the intercellular staining of E-cadherin was diminished. Concomitantly, there was acquisition of N-cadherin in TGase- 4-treated cells. Elimination of TGase-4 from CA-HPV-10 cells significantly decreased cell motility (128.1 Ω±107.4 Ω vs. 31.7 Ω±26.2 Ω, in CA-HPV-10 control and CA-HPV-10/TGase-4 knockout cells). Knocking- out TGase-4 from CA-HPV-10 cells also resulted in substantial loss of N-cadherin in the cells. Conclusion: TGase-4 resulted in loss of E-cadherin/acquisition of N-cadherin and cell migration indicating it is a keen regulator of EMT in prostate epithelia-derived cancer cells. In concert with its other properties involved in disease progression, the present observations suggest TGase-4 as a prospective marker of disease progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)481-488
Number of pages8
JournalAnticancer research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2017


  • Cadherin switch
  • Cell migration
  • EMT
  • Epithelial-mesenchymal transition
  • Prostate cancer
  • Prostate transglutaminase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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