Zinc concentrations in the prostate are uniquely high but are dramatically decreased with prostate cancer. Studies have suggested that increasing zinc in the prostate may be a potential therapeutic strategy. The goal of this study was to evaluate the antiproliferative effects of zinc in prostate cancer cells (PC-3) and noncancerous benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) cells (BPH-1) and to define possible mechanisms. PC-3 and BPH-1 cells were treated with zinc (0-250 muM) for 24 and 48 h, and cell growth and viability were examined. Apoptosis was assessed by phosphatidylserine externalization, caspase activation and protein expression of B-cell CLL/lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2)-associated X protein (BAX):Bcl-2. BPH-1 cells were more sensitive to the antiproliferative effects of zinc compared to PC-3. The response to zinc in PC-3 and BPH-1 cells differed as evidenced by opposing effects on Bcl-2:BAX expression. Additionally, different effects on the nuclear expression and activity of the p65 subunit of nuclear factor kappa B were observed in response to zinc between the two cell types. The differential response to zinc in PC-3 and BPH-1 cells suggests that zinc may serve an important role in regulating cell growth and apoptosis in prostate cancer and hyperplasia cells.
Yan M, Hardin K, Ho E. Differential response to zinc-induced apoptosis in benign prostate hyperplasia and prostate cancer cells. J Nutr Biochem. 2009 July Department of Nutrition and Exercise Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA.