Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) promoter-driven androgen-inducible expression of sodium iodide symporter in prostate cancer cell lines

Christine Spitzweg, Shaobo Zhang, Elizabeth R. Bergert, Maria R. Castro, Bryan McIver, Armin E. Heufelder, Donald J. Tindall, Charles Y.F. Young, John C. Morris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

166 Scopus citations


Currently, no curative therapy for metastatic prostate cancer exists. Causing prostate cancer cells to express functionally active sodium iodide symporter (NIS) would enable those cells to concentrate iodide from plasma and might offer the ability to treat prostate cancer with radioiodine. Therefore, the aim of our study was to achieve tissue-specific expression of full-length human NIS (hNIS) cDNA in the androgen-sensitive human prostatic adenocarcinoma cell line LNCaP and in subcell lines C4, C4-2, and C4-2b in vitro. For this purpose, an expression vector was generated in which full- length hNIS cDNA coupled to the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) promoter has been ligated into the pEGFP-1 vector (NIS/PSA-pEGFP-1). The PSA promoter is responsible for androgen-dependent expression of PSA in benign and malignant prostate cells and was therefore used to mediate androgen-dependent prostate- specific expression of NIS. In addition, two control vectors were designed, which consist of the pEGFP-1 vector containing the PSA promoter without NIS cDNA (PSA-pEGFP-1) and NIS cDNA without the PSA promoter (NIS-pEGFP-1). Prostate cancer cells were transiently transfected with each of the above- described expression vectors, incubated with or without androgen (mibolerone) for 48 h, and monitored for iodide uptake activity. In addition, stably transfected LNCaP cell lines were established for each vector. Prostate cells transfected with NIS/PSA-pEGFP-1 showed perchloratesensitive, androgen- dependent iodide uptake in a range comparable to that observed in control cell lines transfected with hNIS cDNA. Perchlorate-sensitive iodide uptake was not observed in cells transfected with NIS/PSA-pEGFP-1 and treated without androgen or in cells transfected with the control vectors. In addition, prostate cancer cell lines without PSA expression (PC-3 and DU- 145) did not show iodide uptake activity when transfected with NIS/PSA- pEGFP-1. Western blotting of LNCaP and C4-2b cell membranes transfected with NISfPSA-pEGFP-1 using a monoclonal antibody that recognizes the COOH-terminus of hNIS revealed a band with a molecular weight of 90,000 that was not detected in androgen-deprived cells or in cells transfected with the control vectors, as well as a minor band at M(r) 150,000 in transiently transfected LNCaP cell membranes. In conclusion, tissue-specific androgen-dependent iodide uptake activity has been induced in prostate cancer cells by PSA promoterdirected NIS expression. This study represents an initial step toward therapy of prostate cancer with radioiodine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2136-2141
Number of pages6
JournalCancer research
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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