Research Papers:

This article has been corrected. Correction in: Oncotarget. 2019; 10:3978-3978.

Infiltrating mast cells increase prostate cancer chemotherapy and radiotherapy resistances via modulation of p38/p53/p21 and ATM signals

Hongjun Xie, Chong Li, Qiang Dang, Luke S. Chang and Lei Li _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:1341-1353. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.6372

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Hongjun Xie1,*, Chong Li2,*, Qiang Dang1,*, Luke S. Chang1, Lei Li1

1Chawnshang Chang Sex Hormone Research Center, Department of Urology, The First Affiliated Hospital, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710061, China

2CAS Key Laboratory of Infection and Immunity, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing 100101, China

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Lei Li, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: prostate cancer, docetaxel, radiotherapy, p38, ATM

Received: June 25, 2015     Accepted: November 06, 2015     Published: November 16, 2015


Early studies indicated that mast cells in prostate tumor microenvironment might influence prostate cancer (PCa) progression. Their impacts to PCa therapy, however, remained unclear. Here we found PCa could recruit more mast cells than normal prostate epithelial cells then alter PCa chemotherapy and radiotherapy sensitivity, leading to PCa more resistant to these therapies. Mechanism dissection revealed that infiltrated mast cells could increase p21 expression via modulation of p38/p53 signals, and interrupting p38-p53 signals via siRNAs of p53 or p21 could reverse mast cell-induced docetaxel chemotherapy resistance of PCa. Furthermore, recruited mast cells could also increase the phosphorylation of ATM at ser-1981 site, and inhibition of ATM activity could reverse mast cell-induced radiotherapy resistance. The in vivo mouse model with xenografted PCa C4-2 cells co-cultured with mast cells also confirmed that mast cells could increase PCa chemotherapy resistance via activating p38/p53/p21 signaling. Together, our results provide a new mechanism showing infiltrated mast cells could alter PCa chemotherapy and radiotherapy sensitivity via modulating the p38/p53/p21 signaling and phosphorylation of ATM. Targeting this newly identified signaling may help us better suppress PCa chemotherapy and radiotherapy resistance.

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