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Int J Oncol. 2016 May;48(5):2166-74. doi: 10.3892/ijo.2016.3433. Epub 2016 Mar 10.

Atrazine promotes RM1 prostate cancer cell proliferation by activating STAT3 signaling.

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The First Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun, Jilin 130021, P.R. China.
College of Basic Medical Sciences, Jilin University, Changchun, Jilin 130021, P.R. China.
Changchun University of Chinese Medicine, Changchun, Jilin 130117, P.R. China.
Jilin Academy of Environmental Science, Jilin, P.R. China.


Atrazine, a widely used pesticide, is frequently detected in soil and surface water, which alarms epidemiologists and medical professionals because of its potential deleterious effects on health. Indeed, atrazine is a potent endocrine disruptor that increases aromatase expression in some human cancer cell lines. Both animal and human studies have suggested that atrazine is possibly carcinogenic, although discrepant results have been reported. In this study, RM1 cells were used to explore the atrazine effects on prostate cancer. Proliferation, migration and invasion of RM1 cells were assessed by colony formation, wound-healing and invasion assays, respectively, after in vitro exposure to atrazine. In addition, an RM1 cell xenograft model was generated to evaluate the effects of atrazine in vivo. To explore the molecular mechanisms, qRT‑PCR, immunohistochemistry, and western blot analyses were employed to detect mRNA and protein levels of STAT3 signaling and cell cycle related proteins, including p53, p21, cyclin B1 and cyclin D1. Interestingly, RM1 cell proliferation was increased after treatment with atrazine, concomitantly with STAT3 signaling activation. These results suggest that atrazine promotes RM1 cell growth in vitro and in vivo by activating STAT3 signaling.

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