Role of adenosine deaminase in prostate cancer progression

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Am J Clin Exp Urol


Prostate cancer (PCa) is the second most common cancer and constitutes about 14.7% of total cancer cases. PCa is highly prevalent and more aggressive in African-American (AA) men than in European-American (EA) men. PCa tends to be highly heterogeneous, and its complex biology is not fully understood. We use metabolomics to better understand the mechanisms behind PCa progression and disparities in its clinical outcome. Adenosine deaminase (ADA) is a key enzyme in the purine metabolic pathway; it was found to be upregulated in PCa and is associated with higher-grade PCa and poor disease-free survival. The inosine-to-adenosine ratio, which is a surrogate for ADA activity was high in PCa patient urine and higher in AA PCa compared to EA PCa. To understand the significance of high ADA in PCa, we established ADA overexpression models and performed various in vitro and in vivo studies. Our studies have revealed that an acute increase in ADA expression during later stages of tumor development enhances in vivo growth in multiple pre-clinical models. Further analysis revealed that mTOR signaling activation could be associated with this tumor growth. Chronic ADA overexpression shows alterations in the cells' adhesion machinery and a decrease in cells' ability to adhere to the extracellular matrix in vitro. Losing cell-matrix interaction is critical for metastatic dissemination which suggests that ADA could potentially be involved in promoting metastasis. This is supported by the association of higher ADA expression with higher-grade tumors and poor patient survival. Overall, our findings suggest that increased ADA expression may promote PCa progression, specifically tumor growth and metastatic dissemination.

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