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FEBS Lett. 1998 Feb 13;423(1):19-24.

Sodium channel protein expression enhances the invasiveness of rat and human prostate cancer cells.

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Department of Cellular and Molecular Pathology, University of Liverpool, UK.


Expression of Na+ channel protein was analysed in established cell lines of rat and human prostatic carcinoma origin by flow cytometry using a fluorescein-labelled polyclonal antibody. In many cell lines examined, the obtained frequency distribution profiles were bimodal and identified a subpopulation of cells which expressed high levels of Na+ channel protein. A significant positive correlation was demonstrated between the proportion of channel-expressing cells and the functional ability of individual cell lines to invade a basement membrane matrix in vitro. In addition, two transfectant cell lines containing rat prostate cancer genomic DNA were found to express significantly elevated levels of Na+ channel protein when compared with the original benign recipient cell line. Enhanced Na+ channel expression by two metastatic derivatives of these transfectant cells directly correlated with increased invasiveness in vitro. These studies strongly support the hypothesis that expression of Na+ channel protein and the metastatic behaviour of prostatic carcinoma cells are functionally related, either by endowing the membranes of these cells with specialised electrophysiological properties (e.g. enhancing their motility and/or secretory activities) and/or by perturbing endogenous mechanisms regulating ionic homeostasis within the cells.

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