Delineation of the molecular basis for selenium-induced growth arrest in human prostate cancer cells by oligonucleotide array

Yan Dong, Haitao Zhang, Lesleyann Hawthorn, Howard E. Ganther, Clement Ip

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

186 Scopus citations


Despite the growing interest in selenium intervention of prostate cancer in humans, scanty information is currently available on the molecular mechanism of selenium action. Our past research indicated that methyl-seleninic acid (MSA) is an excellent reagent for investigating the anticancer effect of selenium in vitro. The present study was designed to examine the cellular and molecular effects of MSA in PC-3 human prostate cancer cells. After exposure to physiological concentrations of MSA, these cells exhibited a dose- and time-dependent inhibition of growth. MSA retarded cell cycle progression at multiple transition points without changing the proportion of cells in different phases of the cell cycle. Flow cytometric analysis of annexin V- and propidium iodide-labeled cells showed a marked induction of apoptosis by MSA. Array analysis with the Affymetrix human genome U95A chip was then applied to profile the gene expression changes that might mediate the effects of selenium. Gene profiling was done in a time course experiment (at 12, 24, 36, and 48 h) using synchronized cells. A large number of potential selenium-responsive genes with diverse biological functions were identified. These genes fell into 12 clusters of distinct kinetics pattern of modulation by MSA. The expression changes of 10 genes known to be critically involved in cell cycle regulation were selected for verification by Western analysis to determine the reliability of the array data. An agreement rate of 70% was obtained based on these confirmation experiments. The array data enabled us to focus on the role of potential key genes (e.g., GADD153, CHK2, p21WAF1, cyclin A, CDK1, and DHFR) that might be targets of MSA in impeding cell cycle progression. The data also provide valuable insights into novel biological effects of selenium, such as inhibition of cell invasion, DNA repair, and stimulation of transforming growth factor β signaling. The present study demonstrates the utility of a genome-wide analysis to elucidate the mechanism of selenium chemoprevention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-59
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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