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Cancer Res. 2001 Nov 1;61(21):7878-81.

Expression of Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin receptors claudin-3 and claudin-4 in prostate cancer epithelium.

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  • 1Departments of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202, USA.


The mRNA for Rvp.1 (rat ventral prostate) increases in abundance before gland involution after androgen deprivation. Rvp.1 is homologous to CPE-R, the high-affinity intestinal epithelial receptor for Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin (CPE), and is sufficient to mediate CPE binding and trigger subsequent toxin-mediated cytolysis. Rvp.1 (claudin-3) and CPE-R (claudin-4) are members of a larger family of transmembrane tissue-specific claudin proteins that are essential components of intercellular tight junction structures regulating paracellular ion flux. However, claudin-3 and claudin-4 are the only family members capable of mediating CPE binding and cytolysis. The present study was designed to study the expression of claudin-3 and claudin-4 in human prostate tissue as potential targets for CPE toxin-mediated therapy for prostate cancer. On human multiple-tissue Northern blot analysis, mRNAs for both claudin-3 and claudin-4 were expressed at high levels in prostate tissue. In normal prostate tissue, expression of claudin-3 was localized exclusively within acinar epithelial cells by in situ mRNA hybridization. Compared with expression within prostate epithelial cells in surrounding normal glandular tissue, expression of claudin-3 mRNA remained high in the epithelium of prostate adenocarcinoma (10 of 10) and prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (five of five). Prostate adenocarcinoma cells metastatic to bone were obtained from a patient with disease progression during antiandrogen therapy. These metastatic cells were prostate-specific antigen-positive by immunohistochemical staining and also expressed functional CPE receptors as measured by sensitivity to CPE-induced cell lysis. The persistent high level of claudin-3 expression in prostate adenocarcinoma and functional cytotoxicity of CPE in metastatic androgen-independent prostate adenocarcinoma suggests a new potential therapeutic strategy for prostate cancer.

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