Hyperactivated FRS2α-mediated signaling in prostate cancer cells promotes tumor angiogenesis and predicts poor clinical outcome of patients

J. Liu, P. You, G. Chen, X. Fu, X. Zeng, C. Wang, Y. Huang, L. An, X. Wan, N. Navone, C. L. Wu, W. L. McKeehan, Z. Zhang, W. Zhong, F. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Metastasis of tumors requires angiogenesis, which is comprised of multiple biological processes that are regulated by angiogenic factors. The fibroblast growth factor (FGF) is a potent angiogenic factor and aberrant FGF signaling is a common property of tumors. Yet, how the aberration in cancer cells contributes to angiogenesis in the tumor is not well understood. Most studies of its angiogenic signaling mechanisms have been in endothelial cells. FGF receptor substrate 2α (FRS2α) is an FGF receptor-associated protein required for activation of downstream signaling molecules that include those in the mitogen-activated protein and AKT kinase pathways. Herein, we demonstrated that overactivation and hyperactivity of FRS2α, as well as overexpression of cJUN and HIF1α, were positively correlated with vessel density and progression of human prostate cancer (PCA) toward malignancy. We also demonstrate that FGF upregulated the production of vascular endothelial growth factor A mainly by increasing expression of cJUN and HIF1α. This then promoted recruitment of endothelial cells and vessel formation for the tumor. Tumor angiogenesis in mouse PCA tissues was compromised by tissue-specific ablation of Frs2α in prostate epithelial cells. Depletion of Frs2α expression in human PCA cells and in a preclinical xenograft model, MDA PCA 118b, also significantly suppressed tumor angiogenesis accompanied with decreased tumor growth in the bone. The results underscore the angiogenic role of FRS2α-mediated signaling in tumor epithelial cells in angiogenesis. They provide a rationale for treating PCA with inhibitors of FGF signaling. They also demonstrate the potential of overexpressed FRS2α as a biomarker for PCA diagnosis, prognosis and response to therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1750-1759
Number of pages10
Issue number14
StatePublished - Apr 7 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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