Lactate calcium salt affects the viability of colorectal cancer cells via betaine homeostasis

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Betaine plays an important role in cellular homeostasis. However, the physiological roles of betaine-γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) transporter (BGT-1) are still being disputed in cancer. In this study, we tried to find the possibility of the antitumor effect on colorectal cancer (CRC) cell via lactate calcium salt (CaLa)-induced BGT-1 downregulation.

Main methods:

The CRC cell viability and clonogenic assay was performed using different doses of BGT-1 inhibitor. The expression level of BGT-1 was measured following the treatment of 2.5 mM CaLa. Betaine was treated to confirm the resistance of the antitumor activity by CaLa. Tumor growth was also measured using a xenograft animal model.

Key findings:

Long-term exposure of 2.5 mM CaLa clearly decreased the expression of BGT-1 in the CRC cells. As a result of the downregulation of BGT-1 expression, the clonogenic ability of CRC cells was also decreased in the 2.5 mM CaLa-treated group. Reversely, the number of colonies and cell viability was increased by combination treatment with betaine and 2.5 mM CaLa, as compared with a single treatment of 2.5 mM CaLa. Tumor growth was significantly inhibited in the xenograft model depending on BGT-1 downregulation by 2.5 mM CaLa treatment.


These results support the idea that long-lasting calcium supplementation via CaLa contributes to disruption of betaine homeostasis in the CRC cells and is hypothesized to reduce the risk of CRC. In addition, it indicates the possibility of CaLa being a potential incorporating agent with existing therapeutics against CRC.

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