Upregulation of PIP3-dependent Rac exchanger 1 (P-Rex1) promotes prostate cancer metastasis

J. Qin, Y. Xie, B. Wang, M. Hoshino, D. W. Wolff, J. Zhao, M. A. Scofield, F. J. Dowd, M. F. Lin, Y. Tu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations


Excessive activation of G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) and receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) pathways has been linked to prostate cancer metastasis. Rac activation by guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) plays an important role in directional cell migration, a critical step of tumor metastasis cascades. We found that the upregulation of P-Rex1, a Rac-selective GEF synergistically activated by Gβγ freed during GPCR signaling, and PIP3, generated during either RTK or GPCR signaling, strongly correlates with metastatic phenotypes in both prostate cancer cell lines and human prostate cancer specimens. Silencing endogenous P-Rex1 in metastatic prostate cancer PC-3 cells selectively inhibited Rac activity and reduced cell migration and invasion in response to ligands of both epidermal growth factor receptor and G-protein-coupled CXC chemokine receptor 4. Conversely, expression of recombinant P-Rex1, but not its GEF-dead mutant, in non-metastatic prostate cancer cells, such as CWR22Rv1, increased cell migration and invasion through Rac-dependent lamellipodia formation. More importantly, using a mouse xenograft model, we showed that the expression of P-Rex1, but not its mutant, induced lymph node metastasis of CWR22Rv1 cells without an effect on primary tumor growth. Thus, by functioning as a coincidence detector of chemotactic signals from both GPCRs and RTKs, P-Rex1-dependent activation of Rac promotes prostate cancer metastasis.Oncogene (2009).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1853-1863
Number of pages11
Issue number16
StatePublished - Apr 23 2009


  • G-protein-coupled receptors
  • P-Rex1
  • Prostate cancer metastasis
  • Rac-selective guanine nucleotide exchange factor
  • Receptor tyrosine kinases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research


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