Several groups, including ours, have reported that annexin A2 (ANXA2) expression is reduced in most prostate cancer (CaP). More recently, however, we reported that ANXA2 is expressed in some high-grade tumors, but the biologic consequence of this is currently unknown. To elucidate the function of ANXA2 in CaP, we reduced its expression in DU145 cells using shRNA and tested the impact on characteristics of malignancy. Reduction of ANXA2 suppressed anchorage-dependent and -independent cell growth without affecting invasiveness. Interestingly, interleukin-6 (IL-6) secretion was reduced concomitantly with the reduction of ANXA2 but independently of S100A10. IL-6 expression was restored when wild type but not mutant ANXA2 was reexpressed in these cells. In a retrospective study of radical prostatectomy specimens from patients with nonmetastatic CaP, 100% of patients with ANXA2-positive tumors (n = 4) had a biochemical relapse while only 50% of patients with ANXA2 negative tumors (n = 20) relapsed, suggesting that ANXA2 expression in prostate tumors may be predictive of biochemical relapse. Significant cytoplasmic staining of ANXA2 was detected in 3 of 4 ANXA2-positive tumors, whereas ANXA2 is localized to the plasma membrane in benign prostatic glands. These finding, taken together, suggests a possible mechanism whereby ANXA2 expression positively contributes to an aggressive phenotype in a subset of CaP and suggest that ANXA2 has markedly different functions depending on its cellular context. Finally, this is the first description of a role for ANXA2 in IL-6 expression, and ANXA2 represents a new therapeutic target for reducing IL-6 in high-grade prostate cancer.
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