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J Natl Cancer Inst. 2013 Oct 2;105(19):1463-73. doi: 10.1093/jnci/djt241. Epub 2013 Sep 19.

Targeting amino acid transport in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer: effects on cell cycle, cell growth, and tumor development.

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Affiliations of authors: Origins of Cancer Laboratory (QW, JT, JH) and Gene & Stem Cell Therapy Program (QW, JT, CGB, WR, CM, YF, JEJR, JH), Centenary Institute, Camperdown, Australia; Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia (QW, JT, CGB, WR, CM, YF, JEJR, JH); Vancouver Prostate Centre, Department of Urologic Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada (MLL, LF, EL, MG, CCN); Cancer Biology Group, Basil Hetzel Institute for Translational Health Research, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia (GB); Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre-Queensland, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia (CCN, MLL); Cell and Molecular Therapies, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown, Australia (JEJR).



L-type amino acid transporters (LATs) uptake neutral amino acids including L-leucine into cells, stimulating mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 signaling and protein synthesis. LAT1 and LAT3 are overexpressed at different stages of prostate cancer, and they are responsible for increasing nutrients and stimulating cell growth.


We examined LAT3 protein expression in human prostate cancer tissue microarrays. LAT function was inhibited using a leucine analog (BCH) in androgen-dependent and -independent environments, with gene expression analyzed by microarray. A PC-3 xenograft mouse model was used to study the effects of inhibiting LAT1 and LAT3 expression. Results were analyzed with the Mann-Whitney U or Fisher exact tests. All statistical tests were two-sided.


LAT3 protein was expressed at all stages of prostate cancer, with a statistically significant decrease in expression after 4-7 months of neoadjuvant hormone therapy (4-7 month mean = 1.571; 95% confidence interval = 1.155 to 1.987 vs 0 month = 2.098; 95% confidence interval = 1.962 to 2.235; P = .0187). Inhibition of LAT function led to activating transcription factor 4-mediated upregulation of amino acid transporters including ASCT1, ASCT2, and 4F2hc, all of which were also regulated via the androgen receptor. LAT inhibition suppressed M-phase cell cycle genes regulated by E2F family transcription factors including critical castration-resistant prostate cancer regulatory genes UBE2C, CDC20, and CDK1. In silico analysis of BCH-downregulated genes showed that 90.9% are statistically significantly upregulated in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. Finally, LAT1 or LAT3 knockdown in xenografts inhibited tumor growth, cell cycle progression, and spontaneous metastasis in vivo.


Inhibition of LAT transporters may provide a novel therapeutic target in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, via suppression of mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 activity and M-phase cell cycle genes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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