Genistein induces phenotypic reversion of endoglin deficiency in human prostate cancer cells

Clarissa S. Craft, Li Xu, Diana Romero, Calvin P.H. Vary, Raymond C. Bergan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Genistein has been shown to inhibit human prostate cancer (PCa) cell motility. Endoglin has been identified as an important suppressor of PCa cell motility, and its expression is lost during PCa progression. It is therefore important to determine whether endoglin loss affects genistein's efficacy and, if so, by what mechanism. In the current study, genistein was shown to induce reversion of endoglin-deficient cells to a low motility, endoglin-replete phenotype. Because endoglin suppresses PCa cell motility in an activin-like kinase receptor-2 (ALK2)- and Smad1-dependent manner, we sought to determine whether genistein was activating the ALK2-Smad1 pathway. Although treatment with genistein or overexpression of Smad1 or ALK2 all increased Smad1-responsive promoter activity and decreased cell motility, genistein's efficacy was abrogated by either Smad1 or ALK2 knockdown. Furthermore, transfection of cells with a kinase dead mutant of ALK2 abrogated genistein's efficacy. Together, these findings demonstrate that genistein therapeutically induces reversion to a low-motility phenotype in aggressive endoglin-deficient PCa cells. It does so by activating ALK2-Smad1 endoglin-associated signaling. These findings support the notion that individuals with low endoglin-expressing PCa will benefit from genistein treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-242
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular pharmacology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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