Nitric Oxide Up-Regulates RUNX2 in LNCaP Prostate Tumours: Implications for Tumour Growth In Vitro and In Vivo

Heather Nesbitt, Gillian Browne, Katie M O'Donovan, Niall M Byrne, Jenny Worthington, Stephanie R McKeown, Declan McKenna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)


Aberrant expression of the transcription factor RUNX2 in prostate cancer has a number of important consequences including increased resistance to apoptosis, invasion and metastasis to bone. We previously demonstrated that hypoxia up-regulated RUNX2 in tumour cells, which in turn up-regulated the anti-apoptotic factor Bcl-2. Here, we investigate the impact of nitric oxide (NO) on RUNX2 and Bcl-2 expression in prostate cancer and further, how RUNX2 over-expression can impact tumour growth, angiogenesis and oxygenation in vivo. The effect of NO levels on RUNX2 and thus Bcl-2 expression was examined in prostate cancer cells in vitro using methods including gene and protein expression analyses, nitrite quantitation, protein-DNA interaction assays (ChIP) and viability assays (XTT). The effect of RUNX2 over-expression on tumour physiology (growth, oxygenation and angiogenesis) was also assessed in vivo using LNCaP xenografts. A low (but not high) concentration of NO (10 μM) induced expression of RUNX2 and Bcl-2, conferring resistance to docetaxel. These effects were induced via the ERK and PI3K pathways and were dependent on intact AP-1 binding sites in the RUNX2 promoter. RUNX2 over-expression in LNCaP tumours in vivo decreased the time to tumour presentation and increased tumour growth. Moreover, these tumours exhibited improved tumour angiogenesis and oxygenation. Low levels of NO increase expression of RUNX2 and Bcl-2 in LNCaP prostate tumour cells, and in vivo up-regulation of RUNX2 created tumours with a more malignant phenotype. Collectively, our data reveals the importance of NO-regulation of key factors in prostate cancer disease progression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-82
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number2
Early online date19 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - 22 Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

© 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


  • Adenocarcinoma/genetics
  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Core Binding Factor Alpha 1 Subunit/antagonists & inhibitors
  • Female
  • Gene Knockdown Techniques
  • Heterografts
  • Humans
  • MCF-7 Cells
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, SCID
  • Nitric Oxide/metabolism
  • Prostatic Neoplasms/genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2/genetics
  • RNA, Messenger/genetics
  • RNA, Neoplasm/genetics
  • RNA, Small Interfering/genetics
  • Up-Regulation

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