Heat shock protein 27 confers resistance to androgen ablation and chemotherapy in prostate cancer cells through eIF4E.
One strategy to improve therapies in advanced prostate cancer (PC) involves targeting genes that are activated by androgen withdrawal to delay the emergence of the androgen-independent (AI) phenotype. Heat shock protein 27 (Hsp27) expression becomes highly upregulated in PC cells after androgen withdrawal or chemotherapy, in which it functions as a cytoprotective chaperone to confer broad-spectrum treatment resistance. The purpose of this study is to elucidate anti-apoptotic pathways regulated by Hsp27 that are activated during PC progression. Using two-hybrid experiment, we found that Hsp27 was having a major role in the protein translational initiation process. Furthermore, using complementary DNA (cDNA) microarray analysis, 4E binding protein 1 was identified as being proportionately and highly regulated by Hsp27. These data led us to analyze the protein synthesis initiation pathway, which is a prerequisite for cell growth and proliferation. Using northern and western blot analysis, we found that Hsp27 downregulation decreased eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E (eIF4E) expression at the protein, but not mRNA, level. The cytoprotection afforded by Hsp27 overexpression was attenuated by eIF4E knockdown using specific eIF4E short interfering RNA (siRNA). Co-immunoprecipitation and co-immunofluorescence confirmed that Hsp27 colocalizes and interacts directly with eIF4E. Hsp27-eIF4E interaction decreases eIF4E ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation. By chaperoning eIF4E, Hsp27 seems to protect the protein synthesis initiation process to enhance cell survival during cell stress induced by castration or chemotherapy. Forced overexpression of eIF4E induces resistance to androgen-withdrawal and paclitaxel treatment in the prostate LNCaP cells in vitro. These findings identify Hsp27 as a modulator of eIF4E and establish a potential mechanism for the eIF4E-regulated apoptosis after androgen ablation and chemotherapy. Targeting Hsp27-eIF4E interaction may serve as a therapeutic target in advanced PC.Read the article