Research Papers:

Stimulation of prolactin receptor induces STAT-5 phosphorylation and cellular invasion in glioblastoma multiforme

Amira Alkharusi, Shengze Yu, Natalia Landázuri, Fahad Zadjali, Belghis Davodi, Thomas Nyström, Torbjörn Gräslund, Afsar Rahbar and Gunnar Norstedt _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:79572-79583. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.12840

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Amira Alkharusi1,2, Shengze Yu3, Natalia Landázuri4, Fahad Zadjali2, Belghis Davodi4, Thomas Nyström1, Torbjörn Gräslund3, Afsar Rahbar4, Gunnar Norstedt5

1Department of Clinical Science and Education, Södersjukhuset, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

2Sultan Qaboos University, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Muscat, Oman

3School of Biotechnology, KTH - Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden

4Department of Medicine, Exp Cardiovascular Research Unit and Department of Neurology, Center for Molecular Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

5Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

Correspondence to:

Gunnar Norstedt, email: gunnar.norstedt@ki.se

Keywords: prolactin, prolactin receptor, prolactin receptor antagonist, STAT5, GBM

Received: January 28, 2016    Accepted: October 10, 2016    Published: October 24, 2016


Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common and aggressive primary brain tumor in humans and is characterized with poor outcome. In this study, we investigated components of prolactin (Prl) system in cell models of GBM and in histological tissue sections obtained from GBM patients. Expression of Prolactin receptor (PrlR) was detected at high levels in U251-MG, at low levels in U87-MG and barely detectable in U373 cell lines and in 66% of brain tumor tissues from 32 GBM patients by immunohistochemical technique. In addition, stimulation of U251-MG and U87-MG cells but not U373 with Prl resulted in increased STAT5 phosphorylation and only in U251-MG cells with increased cellular invasion. Furthermore, STAT5 phosphorylation and cellular invasion induced in Prl stimulated cells were significantly reduced by using a Prl receptor antagonist that consists of Prl with four amino acid replacements. We conclude that Prl receptor is expressed at different levels in the majority of GBM tumors and that blocking of PrlR in U251-MG cells significantly reduce cellular invasion.

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