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Int J Cancer. 2001 Jan 1;91(1):41-5.

Human prostate cancer cells lack feedback regulation of low-density lipoprotein receptor and its regulator, SREBP2.

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Laboratory of Cell Growth, University of California San Francisco and Veterans Affairs Medical Center, USA.


The low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) pathway provides cells with essential fatty acids for prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) synthesis. Regulation of LDLR expression by LDL was compared between the human normal and cancer prostate cells using semi-quantitative RT-PCR and LDL uptake assays. LDLR mRNA expression and LDL uptake by LDLR were down-regulated in the presence of exogenous LDL or whole serum in the normal prostate cells, but not in the prostate cancer cells. Addition of exogenous cholesterol down-regulated both LDLR and a potent regulator of the ldlr promoter, sterol regulatory element binding protein 2 (SREBP2), in normal cells but not in cancer cells. PGE2 synthesis in prostate cancer cells was significantly increased in response to LDL. Our study suggests that over-production of LDLR is an important mechanism in cancer cells for obtaining more essential fatty acids through LDLR endocytosis, allowing increased synthesis of prostaglandins, which subsequently stimulate cell growth. The data also suggest that the sterol regulatory element and SREBP2 play a role in the loss of sterol feedback regulation in cancer cells.

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