Lectin-induced alterations on the proliferation of three human prostatic cancer cell lines

Isabelle Camby, Thierry Janssen, Robert De Decker, Michel Petein, Gil Raviv, Jean Lambert Pasteels, Robert Kiss, André Danguy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While lectins are known to influence the cell growth of several types of normal and neoplastic tissues, their roles in the case of prostatic cancer cells remain relatively unexplored. In the present work, we report the in vitro influence of five lectins, namely peanut (PNA), wheat germ (WGA), Concanavalin A (Con A), Griffonia simplicifolia (GSA-IA4), and Phaseolus vulgaris (PHA-L) agglutinins, on the cell proliferation of one androgen-sensitive (LNCaP) and two androgen-insensitive (PC-3 and DU 145) human prostatic cancer cell lines cultured in either 10% or 1% fetal bovine serum (FBS)-supplemented media. The cell proliferation was assessed by means of the colorimetric 3-(4,5-dimethythiazol-2-yle)2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide. (MIT) assay. Four lectin concentrations were tested (i.e., 0.1, 1, 10, and 100 μg/ml) at five experimental states (i.e., 2, 3, 5, 7, and 9 d following the addition of each lectin to the culture media). Our results demonstrated that the five lectins under study had a globally significant dose-dependent toxic effect on prostatic cancer cell proliferation. Nevertheless, low doses of GSA-IA4 and PHA-L significantly (P < 0.05 to P < 0.001) increased the cell proliferation of confluent PC-3 cells. Increasing the FBS from 1% to 10% in the culture media significantly antagonized lectin-induced toxicity in the three prostatic cell lines. In conclusion, the present data strongly suggest that some lectins might influence the proliferation of prostatic carcinoma cells. In addition, because lectins are present in our diet, and are able to pass into the systemic circulation and thus reach the prostate, the present results suggest that some lectins might exert an influence on prostate cancer growth under clinical conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-639
Number of pages7
JournalIn Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology - Animal
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Concanavalin A (Con A)
  • Griffonia simplicifolia I-A agglutinin (GSA-IA4)
  • In vitro
  • Peanut agglutinin (PNA)
  • Phaseolus vulgaris agglutinin (PHA-L)
  • Wheat germ agglutinin (WGA)


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