Expression and functional analysis of Voltage-activated Na+ channels in Human Prostate Cancer Cell lines and their contribution to invasion in Vitro

Document Type



Pathology and Microbiology


Ion channels are important for many cellular functions and disease states including cystic fibrosis and multidrug resistance. Previous work in the Dunning rat model of prostate cancer has suggested a relationship between voltage-activated Na+ channels (VASCs) and the invasive phenotype in vitro. The objectives of this study were to 1) evaluate the expression of VASCs in the LNCaP and PC-3 human prostate cancer cell lines by Western blotting, flow cytometry, and whole-cell patch clamping, 2) determine their role in invasion in vitro using modified Boyden chambers with and without a specific blocker of VASCs (tetrodotoxin). A 260-kd protein representing VASCs was found only in the PC-3 cell line, and these were shown to be membrane expressed on flow cytometry. Patch clamping studies indicated that functional VASCs were present in 10% of PC-3 cells and blocking these by tetrodotoxin (600 nmol/L) reduced their invasiveness by 31% (P = 0.02) without affecting the invasiveness of the LNCaP cells. These results indicate that the reduction of invasion is a direct result of VASC blockade and not a nonspecific action of the drug. This is the first report of VASCs in a human prostatic cell line. VASCs are present in PC-3 but not LNCaP cells as determined by both protein and functional studies. Tetrodotoxin reduced the invasiveness of PC-3 but not LNCaP cells, and these data suggest that ion channels may play an important functional role in tumor invasion.


American Journal of Pathology