Zinc transporter mRNA expression in the RWPE-1 human prostate epithelial cell line

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The human prostate gland undergoes a prominent alteration in Zn+2 homeostasis during the development of prostate cancer. The goal of the present study was to determine if the immortalized human prostate cell line (RWPE-1) could serve as a model system to study the role of zinc in prostate cancer. The study examined the expression of mRNA for 19 members of the zinc transporter gene family in normal prostate tissue, the prostate RWPE-1 cell line, and the LNCaP, DU−145 and PC−3 prostate cancer cell lines. The study demonstrated that the expression of the 19 zinc transporters was similar between the RWPE-1 cell line and the in situ prostate gland. Of the 19 zinc transporters, only 5 had levels that were different between the RWPE-1 cells and the tissue samples; all five being increased (ZnT-6, Zip-1, Zip-3A, Zip-10, and Zip-14). The response of the 19 transporters was also determined when the cell lines were exposed to 75 μM Zn+2 for 24 h. It was shown for the RWPE-1 cells that only 5 transporters responded to Zn+2 with mRNA for ZnT-1 and ZnT-2 being increased while mRNA for ZnT-7, Zip-7 and Zip-10 transporters were decreased. It was shown for the LNCaP, DU-145 and PC-3 cells that Zn+2 had no effect on the mRNA levels of all 19 transporters except for an induction of ZnT-1 in PC-3 cells. Overall, the study suggests that the RWPE-1 cells could be a valuable model for the study of the zinc transporter gene family in the prostate.

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