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Post Date:Sep-02-20

Biological Characteristics of Prostate Cancer Cell Lines: 22Rv1, PC3, LNCaP

AcceGenAuthor: AcceGen R&D Team

Prostate cancer (PCa) is the most common malignant tumor and estimated to be the second leading cause of cancer death in men in the United States. It is reported that the overall prostate cancer incidence annually declined 7% from 2011 to 2015.[1] However, PCa is still the first threat that endangers men’s health despite the continuous improvement of living standards and modern medical techniques. [2].


Ten Leading Cancer Types


Figure 1. Ten Leading Cancer Types for the Estimated New Cancer Cases and Deaths by Sex, United States, 2019. Ranking is based on modeled projections and may differ from the most recent observed data[1].


Even though substantial researches on prostate cancer have been conducted, abundant in vivo and in vitro experiments are still required when exploring the mechanism of advanced cancer[3]. Therefore, it is crucial to grasp the biological characteristics of common prostate cancer cells. LNCaP, PC3, and 22Rv1 were commonly used cell lines in the research of prostate cancer. The biological characteristics of these three common prostate cancer cell lines are introduced herein.


Biological Characteristics of LNCap, PC3, and 22Rv1 Cell Lines

The LNCap cell line was established from lymph node metastasis specimens of prostate cancer patients by Horoszewicz et al[4]. This cell line retains the characteristics of prostate cancer tumor cytology and its early differentiation function which represents early androgen-dependent prominent features of prostate cancer.


The PC3 cell line was isolated from human prostate cancer bone metastases with a low degree of differentiation[5]. It is an androgen-independent prostate cancer cell that has moderate metastatic potential but no endogenous androgen receptors. Therefore, the PC3 cell line is widely used in research on androgen-resistant prostate cancer.


In the late 1990s, the 22Rv1 prostate cancer cell line was derived from the human prostate cancer xenograft CWR22R. These cells, which are derived from xenografts, continue to multiply in mice after the castration induced androgen-dependent CWR22 xenograft resolves and relapses[6]. It is an androgen-independent prostate cancer cell but responds to androgens. Therefore, the 22Rv1 cell line represents a very intriguing AR-positive prostate cancer model, demonstrating AR-dependent and AR-independent growth[7].


How to Cultivate LNCaP, PC3 and 22Rv1 Cell Lines?

There is no fixed method to culture prostate cancer cell lines. Most researchers culture LNCaP, 22Rv1, and PC-3 cells in RPMI 1640 medium, supplemented with 10% FBS, 100 IU/mL penicillin, 100 mg/mL streptomycin. Cells were maintained at 37℃ in a humidified 5% CO2 incubator [2, 8]. However, Rezende cultured PC3 cell line in low glucose Dulbecco’s Modified Eagle’s Medium(DMEM), containing 10% FBS, 1% penicillin/streptomycin, 100 mg/dL glucose in a humidified 5% CO2 incubator at 37 °C [9]. Different cell culture methods may be applied when researchers obtain cells from different cell banks. Consulting your supplier for specific culture method is recommended.


The cell morphology of PC3 and LNCaP cells


Figure2. The cell morphology of PC3 and LNCaP cells[10].


The Proliferation of LNCaP, PC3, and 22Rv1 cell lines

Although surgery is considered an effective treatment for localized prostate cancer (PCa), many patients have experienced tumor recurrence and metastasis[11]. Elucidating the pathology of molecular PCa will enable its early diagnosis and more effective treatment to patients. And in vitro studies on different types of prostate cancer cell lines will be useful for investigating its pathology. [12].


The chromosomal deletion of the q arm of chromosome 2 where ING5 is located, has been identified in many cancer types including PCa. As shown in figure 2, N. Barlak et al used transwell migration assays to investigate the impact of ING5 overexpression on the migratory and invasion capability of PC3 and LNCaP cells in vitro, finding that Ectopic ING5 expression significantly suppressed the migration[12].


Effect of ING5 on the migration of PC3 and LNCaP cells


Figure3. Effect of (inhibitor of growth 5) ING5 on the migration of PC3 and LNCaP cells (p<0.05).


Neddylation inhibitor MLN4924 effectively and selectively inhibits the growth and survival of prostate cancer cells via repressing the transcriptional expression of AR and its variants. X. Zhou et al. found that MLN4924 caused obvious morphological changes in these cancer cells  such as cell shrinkage and round-up[3].


All cells were treated with vehicle or 0.1 μM MLN4924 for 72 h


Figure4. All cells were treated with vehicle or 0.1 μM MLN4924 for 72 h before representative pictures were taken[3].



The LNCaP cell line retains the characteristics of early androgen-dependent molecular biology and tumor cytology. PC-3 cells are androgen-independent human advanced adenocarcinoma cell lines with AR expression negative. Biological characteristics of these cell lines make them be widely used in the research to study pathology and genetic stability of prostate cancer. And they might contribute to the treatment of PCa.


Where to get Prostate Cancer Cell Lines?

AcceGen are committed to offering the most complete cell lines with the most favorable price. So far, we culture and provide commonly used Human Prostate Cancer Cell Lines, such as PC-3, 22Rv1, LNCap, VCaP, BPH-1 and DU 145. Besides, Mouse Prostate Cancer Cell Lines and Rat Prostate Cancer Cell Lines are also available in AcceGen database now, and we are still trying to expand our cell line repository to better support your research. For more detailed information, please visit our website or contact info@accegen.com.








1.  Rebecca L. Siegel ea: Cancer Statistics. CA CANCER J CLIN 2019 2019, 69:7–34.

2.  Eskra JN, Dodge A, Schlicht MJ, Bosland MC: Effects of Black Raspberries and Their Constituents on Rat Prostate Carcinogenesis and Human Prostate Cancer Cell Growth In Vitro. Nutrition and Cancer 2019, 72(4):672-685.

3.  Xiaochen Zhou,Sumin Han,Kari Wilder-Romans,Grace Y. Sun,Hong Zhu ,Xiaoqiang Liu  MT, Gongxian Wang ,Felix Y. Feng,Yi Sun: Neddylation inactivation represses androgen receptor transcription and inhibits growth, survival and invasion of prostate cancer cells. Original Research 2020, 22.

4.  J S Horoszewicz SSL, T M Chu, Z L Wajsman, M Friedman, L Papsidero, U Kim, L S Chai, S Kakati, S K Arya, A A Sandberg: The LNCaP Cell Line–A New Model for Studies on Human Prostatic Carcinoma. Prog Clin Biol Res 1980, 37:115-132.

  1. Tai YS, J. M. Squires, H. Zhang, W. K. Oh, C. Z. Liang and J. Huang: PC3 is a Cell Line Characteristic of Prostatic Small Cell Carcinoma. URO-SCIENCE 2011, 71:1668–1679.

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6.  Komendantova AS, Scherbakov AM, Komkov AV, Chertkova VV, Gudovanniy AO, Chernoburova EI, Sorokin DV, Dzichenka YU, Shirinian VZ, Volkova YA et al: Novel steroidal 1,3,4-thiadiazines: Synthesis and biological evaluation in androgen receptor-positive prostate cancer 22Rv1 cells. Bioorganic Chemistry 2019, 91:103142.

7.  Ferreri C, Sansone A, Buratta S, Urbanelli L, Costanzi E, Emiliani C, Chatgilialoglu C: The n-10 Fatty Acids Family in the Lipidome of Human Prostatic Adenocarcinoma Cell Membranes and Extracellular Vesicles. Cancers (Basel) 2020, 12(4).

8.  Lívia Prometti Rezende1 MRUG, Breno Costa Landim1, Amanda Rodrigues Cruz1, Françoise Vasconcelos Botelho2, Renata Graciele Zanon3, Rejane Maira Góes4, Daniele Lisboa Ribeiro1: Effect of glucose and palmitate environment on proliferation and migration of PC3-prostate cancer cells. Cell Biology International 2018.

9.  Eigentler A, Tymoszuk P, Zwick J, Schmitz AA, Pircher A, Kocher F, Schlicker A, Lesche R, Schäfer G, Theurl I et al: The Impact of Cand1 in Prostate Cancer. Cancers 2020, 12(2):428.

10.  Miyahira AK, Sharp A, Ellis L, Jones J, Kaochar S, Larman HB, Quigley DA, Ye H, Simons JW, Pienta KJ et al: Prostate cancer research: The next generation; report from the 2019 Coffey-Holden Prostate Cancer Academy Meeting. Prostate 2020, 80(2):113-132.

11.  Barlak N, Capik O, Sanli F, Kilic A, Aytatli A, Yazici A, Ortucu S, Ittmann M, Karatas OF: ING5 inhibits cancer aggressiveness by inhibiting Akt and activating p53 in prostate cancer. Cell Biol Int 2019.

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