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Oncogenic Role of Engrailed-2 (En-2) in Prostate Cancer Cell Growth and Survival

Author(s): Sudeep K. Bose | Rebecca S. Bullard | Carlton D. Donald

Journal: Translational Oncogenomics
ISSN 1177-2727

Volume: 3;
Start page: 37;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Keywords: EN2 | PAX2 | prostate cancer | oncogene

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among men in the United States of America. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the disease remain largely unknown. Therefore, the identification of tumor specific molecules that serve as targets for the development of new cancer drugs is considered to be a major goal in cancer research. The mouse Engrailed-2 (En-2) gene, which is a homeobox-containing transcription factor was recently identified as a candidate oncogene in breast cancer. Here, we demonstrate that En-2 is over-expressed in human prostate cancer cells as compared to normal prostate epithelial cells. In addition, our data suggests that EN2 expression may be positively modulated by PAX2 transcription factor. Furthermore, down-regulation of EN2 expression by siRNA resulted in a decrease in PAX2 expression. We also provide evidence that down-regulation of EN2 expression causes a dramatic decrease in prostate cancer cell proliferation. Therefore, from our studies we conclude that En-2 is a candidate oncogene in prostate cancer and its PAX2-regulated expression contributes to prostate cancer cell growth.
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