Se-methylselenocysteine suppresses the growth of prostate cancer cell DU145 through connexin 43-induced apoptosis

J Cancer Res Ther. Oct-Dec 2015;11(4):840-5. doi: 10.4103/0973-1482.139265.


Context: Se-methylselenocysteine (MSC), as a chemopreventive agent, shows antitumor effects in some cancer models, but its mechanism is still unclear.

Aims: This study is to explore whether MSC induces apoptosis in prostate cancer (PCa) cells DU145 through connexin 43 (Cx43) activation.

Settings and design: The experiment was performed in a PCa cell line model DU145 and using a series of biological assay methods to investigate the regulating pathway from MSC through Cx43 to downstream molecules, demonstrating an important role of Cx43 in PCa development and as a potential treatment target.

Materials and methods: The human PCa cell line DU145 was used as a model. The effects of MSC on Cx43 expression were examined by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, western blot; effects on cell growth and proliferation were determined by WST-1 and colony formation assay; small interfering ribonucleic acid was used to evaluate the direct contribution of Cx43 to cancer cell apoptosis.

Statistical analysis used: Student's t-test was used to calculate the difference between the groups in SPSS software.

Results: Results showed that MSC inhibited the growth and colony formation of the DU145 cells; MSC induced cell apoptosis by increasing Cx43 expression at messenger ribonucleic acid and protein levels; MSC decreased B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl-2) and increased bad levels of DU145 cells.

Conclusions: As a conclusion, MSC exerts pro-apoptosis effects through increasing Cx43 expression, which in turn down-regulates Bcl-2 and up-regulates bad expression.

MeSH terms

  • Anticarcinogenic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects*
  • Connexin 43 / genetics
  • Connexin 43 / metabolism*
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Selenocysteine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Selenocysteine / pharmacology
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Anticarcinogenic Agents
  • Connexin 43
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Selenocysteine
  • selenomethylselenocysteine