Purpose: This study was designed to investigate the significance of the interaction between CD44 and hyaluronic acid in the development of human prostate cancer. Materials and Methods: We transfected the standard CD44 isoform (CD44s) cDNA into PC3, a human prostate cancer cell line that barely expresses CD44s protein. The effects of the reintroduction of CD44s into PC3 cells on the ability to bind hyaluronic acid (HA) were analyzed by the cell adhesion assay and by the cell migration assay. The in vitro growth rate of CD44s transfected PC3 was measured by using the MTT assay. We then evaluated the in vivo tumor development of CD44s transfected PC3 cells by subcutaneous, intravenous, and intraperitoneal injection models in athymic nude mice. Results: The introduction of CD44s in PC3 cells markedly enhanced the binding and migration of these cells to HA, but not to other extracellular matrix molecules. In vitro growth of CD44s-transfected PC3 was found to be significantly decreased. In addition, the CD44s-transfected PC3 cells also demonstrated reduced tumorigenicity and metastatic potential in in vivo experimental models. Conclusions: These findings suggest that the CD44s downregulation plays an important role in the development of human prostate cancer, in part through reduction of the ability to bind HA.
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