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J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2009 Feb 24;28:25. doi: 10.1186/1756-9966-28-25.

Endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-homeostasis is altered in Small and non-small Cell Lung Cancer cell lines.

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Division of Respiratory Medicine, Medizinische Klinik-Innenstadt, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany.



Knowledge of differences in the cellular physiology of malignant and non-malignant cells is a prerequisite for the development of cancer treatments that effectively kill cancer without damaging normal cells. Calcium is a ubiquitous signal molecule that is involved in the control of proliferation and apoptosis. We aimed to investigate if the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) Ca2+-homeostasis is different in lung cancer and normal human bronchial epithelial (NHBE) cells.


The intracellular Ca2+-signaling was investigated using fluorescence microscopy and the expression of Ca2+-regulating proteins was assessed using Western Blot analysis.


In a Small Cell Lung Cancer (H1339) and an Adeno Carcinoma Lung Cancer (HCC) cell line but not in a Squamous Cell Lung Cancer (EPLC) and a Large Cell Lung Cancer (LCLC) cell line the ER Ca2+-content was reduced compared to NHBE. The reduced Ca2+-content correlated with a reduced expression of SERCA 2 pumping calcium into the ER, an increased expression of IP3R releasing calcium from the ER, and a reduced expression of calreticulin buffering calcium within the ER. Lowering the ER Ca2+-content with CPA led to increased proliferation NHBE and lung cancer cells.


The significant differences in Ca2+-homeostasis between lung cancer and NHBE cells could represent a new target for cancer treatments.

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