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Life Sci. 2005 Apr 15;76(22):2523-33.

Nuclear location-dependent role of peripheral benzodiazepine receptor (PBR) in hepatic tumoral cell lines proliferation.

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Dept. of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Campi 183, 41100, Modena, Italy.


PBR is involved in numerous biological functions, including steroid biosynthesis, mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation and cell proliferation. The presence of PBR at the perinuclear/nuclear subcellular level has been demonstrated in aggressive breast cancer cell lines and human glioma cells where it seems to be involved in cell proliferation. In our study we investigated the presence of perinuclear/nuclear PBR in different hepatic tumor cell lines with regard to binding to [3H] PK 11195 and protein analysis. The results obtained by saturation binding experiments and scatchard analysis of perinuclear/nuclear PBR density in parallel with the results on the growth curves of the cell lines tested, indicate that the perinuclear/nuclear PBR density correlates inversely with cell doubling time. Moreover, the cell line with high perinuclear/nuclear PBR proliferated in response to PBR ligand, whereas that with low perinuclear/nuclear PBR did not. Our results reinforce the idea that the subcellular localisation of PBR defines its function and that this receptor could be a possible target for new strategies against cancer.

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