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Clin Cancer Res. 1995 Sep;1(9):997-1003.

Vitamin D receptor expression, 24-hydroxylase activity, and inhibition of growth by 1alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 in seven human prostatic carcinoma cell lines.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado 80262, USA.


Although prostatic cancer is often viewed as an androgen-dependent malignancy, a number of other hormones including 1alpha, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1alpha,25(OH)2D3] are now recognized to modulate its growth and differentiated phenotype. Seven different continuous human prostatic carcinoma cell lines were examined for the presence of biologically active receptors for 1alpha,25(OH)2D3. All seven lines were found to contain mRNA for the vitamin D receptor using an RNase protection assay. Six of the seven cell lines were found to have high-affinity saturable binding sites for 1alpha,25(OH)2D3. The seventh line was found to contain vitamin D receptors by sucrose gradient analysis. All seven lines were found to express 24-hydroxylase activity by a HPLC assay that measures the conversion of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 to 24,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3. 24-Hydroxylase activity was up-regulated in all seven cell lines by preincubation with 1alpha,25(OH)2D3. In the presence of fetal bovine serum, the growth of four of the seven cell lines was inhibited. In the majority of cell lines growth inhibition was related not only to the number of receptors per cell, but also in inverse proportion to the 24-hydroxylase activity of each cell line. The ubiquitous presence of vitamin D receptor and 24-hydroxylase activity in human prostatic carcinoma cells suggests new alternatives for the pharmacological treatment of advanced prostatic cancer and implies that chemoprevention strategies could also make use of this endocrine axis.

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