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Mitochondrion. 2005 Jun;5(3):143-53.

Mitochondrial function, zinc, and intermediary metabolism relationships in normal prostate and prostate cancer.

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Cellular and Molecular Biology Section, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Dental School/University of Maryland, 666 West Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.


Human prostate secretory epithelial cells have the uniquely specialized function of accumulating and secreting extremely high levels of citrate. This is achieved by their ability to accumulate high cellular levels of zinc that inhibit citrate oxidation. This process of net citrate production requires unique metabolic/bioenergetic mitochondrial relationships. In prostate cancer, the malignant cells undergo a metabolic transformation from zinc-accumulating citrate-producing sane cells to citrate-oxidizing malignant cells that lost the ability to accumulate zinc. This review describes the metabolic/bioenergetic, zinc and mitochondrial relationships involved in normal and malignant prostate. Hopefully, this report will generate much needed interest and research in this neglected, but critically important, area of investigation.

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