Cell proliferation and apoptosis in prostate cancer: significance in disease progression and therapy


  • Natasha Kyprianou
  • E. M. Bruckheimer
  • Y. Guo


prostate cancer, apoptosis, cell cycle, caspases, Bcl-2, therapy


Recent biochemical and genetic studies have substantially increased our understanding of death signal transduction pathways, making it clear however, that apoptosis is not a single-lane, one-way street. Rather, multiple parallel pathways have been identified. For instance, analysis of bcl-2, bax, p53, and caspase knockout mice while establishing distinct roles for each of these apoptotic players, they also provided valuable information for the design of specific inhibitors of apoptosis. Thus blocking one pathway, as in caspase knockout mice, what we observe is not a complete suppression of apoptosis but rather a delay in apoptosis induction (Hakem et al., 1998; Kuida et al., 1998). In view of nature's means of ensuring activation of a compensatory apoptotic response, when one pathway fails in developing prostate cancer therapeutic interventions, the challenge remains to further dissect individual apoptotic pathways. Advances in our understanding of the integrated functions governing prostate cell proliferation and cell death, clearly suggest that effective prostate cancer therapies are not only molecularly targeted, but that are also customized to take into account the delicate balance of opposing growth influences in the ageing gland. In this review we discuss the evidence on the significance of molecular deregulation of the key players of this growth equlibrium, apoptosis and cell proliferation in prostate cancer progression, and the clinical implications of changes in the apoptotic response in disease detection and therapy.




Invited Reviews