Introduction: Epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM) is expressed in tumors with an epithelial cell of origin, in a heterogeneous manner. Prostate cancer stem-like cells highly express EpCAM. However, little is known about how EpCAM is involved in the ability of cells to adapt to micro-environmental changes in available growth factors, which is one of the essential biological phenotypes of cancer stem-like cells (CSCs). Methods: EpCAM-high and EpCAM-low subpopulations of cells were established from the prostate cancer cell line PC-3. Signal transductions in response to serum starvation, and on the exposure to EGF ligand or the specific inhibitor were analyzed in terms. Furthermore, we analyzed the expression level of amino acid transporters which contribute to the activation of mTOR signal between the two subgroups. Results: EpCAM-high and EpCAM-low PC-3 subpopulations showed markedly different responses to serum starvation. EpCAM expression was positively correlated with activation of the mTOR and epithelial growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling pathways. Furthermore, AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) was gradually de-activated in EpCAM-low PC-3 cells in the absence of serum. Conclusions: EpCAM regulates the AMPK signaling pathway, essential for the response to growth factors characterized by EGF. LAT1, the amino acid transporter stabilized at the cellular membrane by EpCAM, is likely to be responsible for the difference in the susceptibility to EGF between EpCAM-high and EpCAM-low PC-3 cells.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications|
|Publication status||Published - 03-01-2014|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology