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Prostate. 2012 Jul 1;72(10):1080-92. doi: 10.1002/pros.21512. Epub 2011 Nov 29.

Overexpression of the VSSC-associated CAM, β-2, enhances LNCaP cell metastasis associated behavior.

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Laboratory for Cancer Ontogeny and Therapeutics, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, DE, USA.



Prostate cancer (PCa) is the second-leading cause of cancer death in American men. This is due largely to the "silent" nature of the disease until it has progressed to a highly metastatic and castrate resistant state. Voltage sensitive sodium channels (VSSCs) are multimeric transmembrane protein complexes comprised of a pore-forming α subunit and one or two β subunits. The β-subunits modulate surface expression and gating kinetics of the channels but also have inherent cell adhesion molecule (CAM) functions. We hypothesize that PCa cells use VSSC β-subunits as CAMs during PCa progression and metastasis.


We overexpressed the beta-2 isoform as a C-terminal fusion protein with enhanced cyan fluorescence protein (ECFP) in the weakly metastatic LNCaP cells. The effect of beta-2 overexpression on cell morphology was examined using confocal microscopy while metastasis-associated behavior was tested by performing several in vitro metastatic functional assays and in vivo subcutaneous tumor studies.


We found that cells overexpressing beta-2 (2BECFP) converted to a bipolar fibroblastic morphology. 2BECFP cells were more adhesive than control (ECFP) to vitronectin (twofold) and Matrigel® (1.3-fold), more invasive through Matrigel® (3.6-fold in 72 hr), and had enhanced migration (2.1-fold in 96 hr) independent of proliferation in wound-healing assays. In contrast, 2BECFP cells have a reduced tumor-take and tumor volume in vivo even though the overexpression of beta-2 was maintained.


Functional overexpression of VSSC β-subunits in PCa may be one mechanism leading to increased metastatic behavior while decreasing the ability to form localized tumor masses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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