Regulation of zinc transporters by dietary flaxseed lignan in human breast cancer xenografts

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Zinc is essential for cell growth. Previous studies have shown that zinc concentration in breast cancer tissues is higher than that in normal breast tissues. Zinc cannot passively diffuse across cell membranes and specific zinc transporter proteins are required. Two gene families have been identified involved in zinc homeostasis. ZnT transporters reduce intracellular zinc while ZIP transporters increase intracellular zinc. In this study, three human zinc transporter members: ZnT-1, ZIP2 and LIV-1 were chosen. We aimed to determine the effect of flaxseed lignan on the growth of ER-negative breast cancer cells in a nude mice model and observe the effect of flaxseed lignan on the regulation of the three zinc transporter in mRNA level. Nude mice were xenografted with human breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231 and 6 weeks later were fed either the basal diet (BD) or BD supplemented with 10% FS and SDG for 5 weeks. The SDG levels were equivalent to the amounts in the 10% FS. RT-PCR was performed. Compared with the BD group, the tumor growth rate was significantly lower (P < 0. 05) in the FS and SDG group. ZnT-1 mRNA level in mammary tumor was increased in SDG group and decreased in FS group, but no significant difference was found. Extremely low amplification of ZIP2 from mRNA was detected, with no difference between the treatment groups. LIV-1 mRNA expression of SDG group increases compared with BD group. In FS group, it significantly increases nearly 9 times than that in BD group (P < 0. 005).

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