Alanine-serine-cysteine transporter 2 (ASCT2) has been associated with increased levels of metabolism in various malignant tumors. However, its biological significance in the proliferation of prostate cancer (PCa) cells remains under investigation. We used the cBioPortal database to assess the effect of ASCT2 expression on the oncological outcomes of 108 PCa patients. To evaluate the function of ASCT2 in castration-sensitive PCa (CSPC) and castration-resistant PCa (CRPC), LNCaP cells and the ARV7-positive PCa cell line, 22Rv1, were assessed using cell proliferation assays and Western blot analyses. The ASCT2 expression level was associated with biochemical recurrence-free survival after prostatectomy in patients with a Gleason score ≥ 7. In vitro experiments indicated that the growth of LNCaP cells after combination therapy of ASCT2 siRNA and enzalutamide treatment was significantly reduced, compared to that following treatment with enzalutamide alone or ASCT2 siRNA transfection alone (p < 0.01, 0.01, respectively). After ASCT2 inhibition by siRNA transfection, the growth of 22Rv1 cells was significantly suppressed as compared with negative control siRNA via downregulation of ARV7 both in fetal bovine serum and androgen-deprivation conditions (p < 0.01, 0.01, respectively). We demonstrated that ASCT2 inhibition significantly reduced the proliferation rates of both CSPC and CRPC cells in vitro.
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