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Zinc and Prostate

 Front Biosci. 2005 Sep 1;10:2230-9.

Zinc and zinc transporters in normal prostate and the pathogenesis of prostate cancer.

Franklin RB, Milon B, Feng P, Costello LC.

Department of Biomedical Sciences, Dental School, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA. rfrankli@umaryland.edu

Zinc is an essential metal for all cells. It plays a role in a wide variety of physiological and biochemical processes. In the prostate epithelial cell the accumulation of high cellular zinc is a specialized function that is necessary for these cells to carry out the major physiological functions of production and secretion of citrate. The production of citrate and its secretion into prostatic fluid is a differentiated function of the prostate epithelial cells that is apparently important for reproduction. The loss of citrate and zinc accumulation is the most consistent and persistent characteristic of prostate malignancy.

This characteristic of prostate cancer indicates that the lost ability of the malignant cells to accumulate zinc and citrate is an important factor in the development and progression of malignancy.

The lost ability of the epithelial cells to accumulate zinc and thus to also accumulate citrate is the result of decreased expression of specific zinc uptake transporters.

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