ELK3, an ETS domain-containing transcription factor, participates in various physiological and pathological processes including cell proliferation, migration, angiogenesis, and malignant progression. However, the role of ELK3 in prostate cancer cells and its mechanism are not fully understood. The contribution of ELK3 to prostate cancer progression was investigated in the present study. We showed that silencing of ELK3 by siRNA in prostate cancer cell DU145 induced S-M phase arrest, promoted apoptosis, inhibited cell proliferation and migration , and suppressed xenograft growth in mice . In accordance with its ability to arrest cells in S-M phase, the expression of cyclin A and cyclin B was downregulated. In addition, the expression of p53 was upregulated following ELK3 knockdown, while that of antiapoptotic Bcl-2 was decreased. The migration inhibition may partly due to upregulation of SERPINE1 (a serine protease inhibitor) followed ELK3 knockdown. Consistently, downregulation of SERPINE1 resulted in a modest elimination of migration inhibition resulted from ELK3 knockdown. Furthermore, we found that the AKT signaling was activated in ELK3 knockdown cells, and treatment these cells with AKT inhibitor attenuated SERPINE1 expression induced by ELK3 silencing, suggesting that activation of AKT pathway may be one of the reasons for upregulation of SERPINE1 after ELK3 knockdown. In conclusion, modulation of ELK3 expression may control the progression of prostate cancer partly by regulating cell growth, apoptosis, and migration.Copyright © 2020 Yuanshen Mao et al.
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