Loss of MAOA in epithelia inhibits adenocarcinoma development, cell proliferation and cancer stem cells in prostate

Chun Peng Liao, Tzu Ping Lin, Pei Chuan Li, Lauren A. Geary, Kevin Chen, Vijaya Pooja Vaikari, Jason Boyang Wu, Chi Hung Lin, Mitchell E. Gross, Jean C. Shih*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) is a mitochondrial enzyme, which degrades monoamine neurotransmitters and dietary amines and produces H 2 O 2 . Recent studies have shown increased MAOA expression in prostate cancer (PCa), glioma, and classical Hodgkin lymphoma. However, the biological function of MAOA in cancer development remains unknown. In this study, we investigated the role of MAOA in the development of prostate adenocarcinoma by creating a prostate-specific Pten/MAOA knockout (KO) mouse model, in which MAOA-floxP mouse was crossed with the conditional Pten KO PCa mouse that develops invasive PCa. In contrast to Pten KO mice, age-matched Pten/MAOA KO mice exhibited a significant decrease in both prostate size and the incidence of invasive cancer. We observed a significant decline in AKT phosphorylation and Ki67 expression in Pten/MAOA KO mice, which reduced epithelial cell growth and proliferation. As cancer stem cells (CSCs) are required for tumor initiation and growth, we investigated expression of OCT4 and NANOG in the setting of decreased MAOA expression. We found that both OCT4 and NANOG were significantly attenuated in the prostate epithelia of Pten/MAOA KO mice compared to Pten KO mice, which was confirmed with targeted knockdown of MAOA with a short-hairpin(sh) vector targeting MAOA compared to cells transfected with a control vector. Expression of other markers associated with the a stem cell phenotype, including CD44, α2β1, and CD133 as well as HIF-1α + CD44 + stem cells were all decreased in shMAOA PCa cells compared with empty vector-transfected control cells. We also found spheroid formation ability in PCa cells was decreased when endogenous MAOA was suppressed by siRNA or MAOA inhibitor clorgyline in a colony formation assay. Using the TCGA database, elevated MAOA expression was associated with reduced Pten levels in high Gleason grade in patient samples. Further, we found that Pten-positive PCa cells were more resistant to clorgyline treatments than Pten-null cells in tumorigenicity and stemness. Taken together, these studies suggest that MAOA expression promotes PCa development by increasing cell proliferation and CSCs and highlights the potential use of MAOA inhibitors for the treatment of PCa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5175-5190
Number of pages16
Issue number38
StatePublished - 20 Sep 2018

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