Carbon ion irradiation of the human prostate cancer cell line PC3: a whole genome microarray study

Int J Oncol. 2014 Apr;44(4):1056-72. doi: 10.3892/ijo.2014.2287. Epub 2014 Feb 3.


Hadrontherapy is a form of external radiation therapy, which uses beams of charged particles such as carbon ions. Compared to conventional radiotherapy with photons, the main advantage of carbon ion therapy is the precise dose localization along with an increased biological effectiveness. The first results obtained from prostate cancer patients treated with carbon ion therapy showed good local tumor control and survival rates. In view of this advanced treatment modality we investigated the effects of irradiation with different beam qualities on gene expression changes in the PC3 prostate adenocarcinoma cell line. For this purpose, PC3 cells were irradiated with various doses (0.0, 0.5 and 2.0 Gy) of carbon ions (LET=33.7 keV/µm) at the beam of the Grand Accélérateur National d'Ions Lourds (Caen, France). Comparative experiments with X-rays were performed at the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre. Genome-wide gene expression was analyzed using microarrays. Our results show a downregulation in many genes involved in cell cycle and cell organization processes after 2.0 Gy irradiation. This effect was more pronounced after carbon ion irradiation compared with X-rays. Furthermore, we found a significant downregulation of many genes related to cell motility. Several of these changes were confirmed using qPCR. In addition, recurrence-free survival analysis of prostate cancer patients based on one of these motility genes (FN1) revealed that patients with low expression levels had a prolonged recurrence-free survival time, indicating that this gene may be a potential prognostic biomarker for prostate cancer. Understanding how different radiation qualities affect the cellular behavior of prostate cancer cells is important to improve the clinical outcome of cancer radiation therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Movement / radiation effects
  • Fibronectins / biosynthesis
  • Gene Expression / radiation effects*
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Heavy Ion Radiotherapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microfilament Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Molecular Motor Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Myosin Heavy Chains / biosynthesis
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Nonmuscle Myosin Type IIB / biosynthesis
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Prognosis
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Signal Transduction / radiation effects
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins / biosynthesis
  • rho-Associated Kinases / biosynthesis


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • CCDC88A protein, human
  • FN1 protein, human
  • Fibronectins
  • MYH9 protein, human
  • Microfilament Proteins
  • Molecular Motor Proteins
  • NEXN protein, human
  • Vesicular Transport Proteins
  • ROCK1 protein, human
  • rho-Associated Kinases
  • Nonmuscle Myosin Type IIB
  • nonmuscle myosin type IIB heavy chain
  • Myosin Heavy Chains