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J Cell Physiol. 2003 Jun;195(3):461-9.

Contribution of functional voltage-gated Na+ channel expression to cell behaviors involved in the metastatic cascade in rat prostate cancer: II. Secretory membrane activity.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Sir Alexander Fleming Building, Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine, London, United Kingdom.


The secretory membrane activities of two rat prostate cancer cell lines of markedly different metastatic potential, and corresponding electrophysiological characteristics, were studied in a comparative approach. In particular, voltage-gated Na(+) channels (VGSCs) were expressed in the strongly metastatic MAT-LyLu but not in the closely related, but weakly metastatic, AT-2 cells. Uptake and release of the non-cytotoxic marker horseradish peroxidase (HRP) were used as indices of general endocytotic and exocytotic membrane activity, respectively. The amount of tracer present in a given experimental condition was quantified by light microscopic digital imaging. The uptake of HRP was an active process, abolished completely by incubating the cells at low temperature (5 degrees C) and suppressed by disrupting the cytoskeleton. Interestingly, the extent of HRP uptake into the strongly metastatic MAT-LyLu cells was almost twice that into the weakly metastatic AT-2 cells. Vesicular uptake of HRP occurred in a fast followed by a slow phase; these appeared to correspond to cytoplasmic and perinuclear pools, respectively. Importantly, the overall quantitative difference in the uptake disappeared in the presence of 1 microM tetrodotoxin which significantly reduced the uptake of HRP into the MAT-LyLu cells. There was no effect on the AT-2 cells, consistent with functional VGSC expression occurring selectively in the former. A similar effect was observed in Na(+)-free medium. The uptake was partially dependent upon extracellular Ca(2+) but was not affected by raising the extracellular K(+) concentration. We suggest that functional VGSC expression could potentiate prostate cancer cells' metastatic ability by enhancing their secretory membrane activity.

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