Cancers. 2020 Oct 16;12(10):3013. doi: 10.3390/cancers12103013.


Among the different interacting molecules implicated in bone metastases, connexin43 (Cx43) may increase sensitivity of prostate cancer (PCa) cells to bone microenvironment, as suggested by our in silico and human tissue samples analyses that revealed increased level of Cx43 expression with PCa progression and a Cx43 specific expression in bone secondary sites. The goal of the present study was to understand how Cx43 influences PCa cells sensitivity and aggressiveness to bone microenvironment. By means of Cx43-overexpressing PCa cell lines, we revealed a Cx43-dependent promigratory effect of osteoblastic conditioned media (ObCM). This effect on directional migration relied on the presence of Cx43 at the plasma membrane and not on gap junctional intercellular communication and hemichannel functions. ObCM stimulation induced Rac1 activation and Cx43 interaction with cortactin in protrusions of migrating PCa cells. Finally, by transfecting two different truncated forms of Cx43 in LNCaP cells, we determined that the carboxy terminal (CT) part of Cx43 is crucial for the responsiveness of PCa cells to ObCM. Our study demonstrates that Cx43 level and its membrane localization modulate the phenotypic response of PCa cells to osteoblastic microenvironment and that its CT domain plays a pivotal role.

Keywords: Cx43, prostate cancer, migration, gap junctions, bone metastasis, conditioned medium, carboxy terminal domain