TGFβ-induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in prostate cancer cells is mediated via TRPM7 expression

Yuyang Sun, Anne Schaar, Pramod Sukumaran, Archana Dhasarathy, Brij B. Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Growth factors, such as the transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ), play an important role in promoting metastasis of prostate cancer, thus understanding how TGFβ could induce prostate cancer cell migration may enable us to develop targeted strategies for treatment of advanced metastatic prostate cancer. To more clearly define the mechanism(s) involved in prostate cancer cell migration, we undertook a series of studies utilizing non-malignant prostate epithelial cells RWPE1 and prostate cancer DU145 and PC3 cells. Our studies show that increased cell migration was observed in prostate cancer cells, which was mediated through epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Importantly, addition of Mg2+, but not Ca2+, increased cell migration. Furthermore, TRPM7 expression, which functions as an Mg2+ influx channel, was also increased in prostate cancer cells. Inhibition of TRPM7 currents by 2-APB, significantly blocked cell migration in both DU145 and PC3 cells. Addition of growth factor TGFβ showed a further increase in cell migration, which was again blocked by the addition of 2-APB. Importantly, TGFβ addition also significantly increased TRPM7 expression and function, and silencing of TRPM7 negated TGFβ-induced cell migration along with a decrease in EMT markers showing loss of cell adhesion. Furthermore, resveratrol, which decreases prostate cancer cell migration, inhibited TRPM7 expression and function including TGFβ-induced cell migration and activation of TRPM7 function. Together, these results suggest that Mg2+ influx via TRPM7 promotes cell migration by inducing EMT in prostate cancer cells and resveratrol negatively modulates TRPM7 function thereby inhibiting prostate cancer metastasis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)752-761
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Carcinogenesis
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • EMT
  • TRPM7
  • cell migration
  • magnesium
  • prostate cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cancer Research


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