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Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin (CPE) triggers lysis of epithelial cells through binding to tight-junction proteins claudin-3 (Cldn3) and Cldn4, which are over-expressed in prostate cancer. We investigated the potential of Cldn-targeted therapy using CPE.We investigated the expression levels and subcellular localization of Cldn3 and Cldn4 in primary human prostate cancer tissues, human prostate cancer cell lines (22Rv1, DU145, and PC3) and normal human prostate epithelial cells (PrECs). Cytotoxic effects of CPE on these cells were examined by colorimetric assay. We studied whether knockdown of Cldn3 and/or Cldn4 expression using RNA interference influenced CPE-mediated cytotoxicity. The therapeutic effect of CPE was evaluated in PC3 xenografts in athymic mice.Cldn4 and Cldn3 were expressed in primary human prostate cancer tissues, 22Rv1, DU145, and PC3. Cldn4 protein was expressed in PrEC. Cldn4 was distributed along whole cell membranes of the cancer cell lines, whereas it was localized at tight junctions in PrEC. CPE-mediated cytotoxicity was greatly detected in PC3, but was hardly detectable in PrEC. Reduced expression of Cldn4, but not Cldn3, led to remarkable decreases of cytotoxicity in both PC3 and 22Rv1. The injection of CPE around PC3 xenografts significantly suppressed tumor growth.CPE-mediated cytotoxicity was observed in human prostate cancer cell lines, but barely detected in normal human PrECs. The cytotoxic effect depended not only on the expression level of Cldn4 protein but also on its subcellular localization. These results suggest that Cldn4-targeted therapy using CPE may be a new treatment for prostate cancer.