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Int J Med Sci. 2014 Jul 2;11(9):948-54. doi: 10.7150/ijms.9137. eCollection 2014.

Lycopene treatment of prostate cancer cell lines inhibits adhesion and migration properties of the cells.

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School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, IBBS, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, UK.



Consumption of lycopene through tomato products has been suggested to reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Cellular adhesion and migration are important features of cancer progression and therefore a potential target for cancer interception. In the present study we have examined the in vitro effect of lycopene on these processes.


Prostate cancer cell lines PC3, DU145 and immortalised normal prostate cell line PNT-2 were used. The adhesion assay consisted of seeding pre-treated cells onto Matrigel™, gently removing non-adherent cells and quantitating the adherent fraction using WST-1. Migratory potential was assessed using ibidi™ migration chamber inserts, in which a cell-free zone between two confluent areas was allowed to populate over time and the migration measured.


24 hour incubation of prostate cell lines with 1.15µmol/l lycopene showed a 40% reduction of cellular motility in case of PC3 cells, 58% in DU145 cells and no effect was observed for PNT2 cells. A dose related inhibition of cell adhesion to a basement membrane in the form of Matrigel™ was observed in all three cell lines and it reached statistical significance for PC3 and PNT2 cells at lycopene concentrations ≥1.15µmol/l. However, in case of DU145, only a concentration of 2.3µmol/l showed a significant reduction.


This in vitro investigation indicates that lycopene can influence the cell adhesion and migration properties of cancer cells at a dose which is arguably achievable in patients. The results of our study expand our understanding of a chemo preventive role of lycopene in prostate cancer.


cell adhesion; lycopene; prostate cancer

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