Epigenetic silencing of miR-34a in human prostate cancer cells and tumor tissue specimens can be reversed by BR-DIM treatment.
ABSTRACT: Androgen Receptor (AR) signaling is critically important during the development and progression of prostate cancer (PCa). The AR signaling is also important in the development of castrate resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) where AR is functional even after androgen deprivation therapy (ADT); however, little is known regarding the transcriptional and functional regulation of AR in PCa. Moreover, treatment options for primary PCa for preventing the occurrence of CRPC is limited; therefore, novel strategy for direct inactivation of AR is urgently needed. In this study, we found loss of miR-34a, which targets AR, in PCa tissue specimens, especially in patients with higher Gleason grade tumors, consistent with increased expression of AR. Forced overexpression of miR-34a in PCa cell lines led to decreased expression of AR and prostate specific antigen (PSA) as well as the expression of Notch-1, another important target of miR-34a. Most importantly, BR-DIM intervention in PCa patients prior to radical prostatectomy showed re-expression of miR-34a, which was consistent with decreased expression of AR, PSA and Notch-1 in PCa tissue specimens. Moreover, BR-DIM intervention led to nuclear exclusion both in PCa cell lines and in tumor tissues. PCa cells treated with BR-DIM and 5-aza-dC resulted in the demethylation of miR-34a promoter concomitant with inhibition of AR and PSA expression in LNCaP and C4-2B cells. These results suggest, for the first time, epigenetic silencing of miR -34a in PCa, which could be reversed by BR-DIM treatment and, thus BR-DIM could be useful for the inactivation of AR in the treatment of PCa.
Project description:Castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) progression after androgen deprivation therapy shows upregulated expression of androgen receptor (AR) splice variants, induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition phenotypes and enhanced stem cell characteristics, all of which are associated with resistance to enzalutamide. Since there is no curative treatment for CRPC, innovative treatments are urgently needed. In our recent study, we found that resistance to enzalutamide was partly due to deregulated expression of microRNAs such as miR-34a, miR-124, miR-27b, miR-320 and let-7, which play important roles in regulating AR and stem cell marker gene expression that appears to be linked with resistance to enzalutamide. Importantly, we found that BioResponse 3,3'-diindolylmethane (BR-DIM) treatment in vitro and in vivo caused downregulation in the expression of wild-type AR. The AR splice variants, Lin28B and EZH2, appear to be deregulated through the re-expression of let-7, miR-27b, miR-320 and miR-34a in human prostate cancer (PCa). BR-DIM administered in clinical trials was well tolerated, and 93% of patients had detectable prostatic DIM levels. The inhibitory effects of BR-DIM on AR and AR target gene such as prostate-specific antigen were also observed in the clinical trial. Our preclinical and clinical studies provide the scientific basis for a 'proof-of-concept' clinical trial in CRPC patients treated with enzalutamide in combination with BR-DIM. This strategy could be expanded in future clinical trials in patients with PCa to determine whether or not they could achieve a better treatment outcome which could be partly mediated by delaying or preventing the development of CRPC.
Project description:The mechanism(s) by which androgen receptor (AR) splice variants contribute to castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) is still lacking.Expressions of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and stem cell markers were molecularly tested using prostate cancer (PCa) cells transfected with AR and AR3 (also known as AR-V7) plasmids or siRNA, and also cultured cells under androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) condition. Cell migration, clonogenicity, sphere-forming capacity was assessed using PCa cells under all experimental conditions and 3,3'-diindolylmethane (DIM; BR-DIM) treatment. Human PCa samples from BR-DIM untreated or treated patients were also used for assessing the expression of AR3 and stem cell markers.Overexpression of AR led to the induction of EMT phenotype, while overexpression of AR3 not only induced EMT but also led to the expression of stem cell signature genes. More importantly, ADT enhanced the expression of AR and AR3 concomitant with up-regulated expression of EMT and stem cell marker genes. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) treatment decreased the expression of AR and AR3, and reversed the expression of these EMT and stem cell marker genes. BR-DIM administered to PCa patients prior to radical prostatectomy inhibited the expression of cancer stem cell markers consistent with inhibition of self-renewal of PCa cells after BR-DIM treatment.AR variants could contribute to PCa progression through induction of EMT and acquisition of stem cell characteristics, which could be attenuated by BR-DIM, suggesting that BR-DIM could become a promising agent for the prevention of CRPC and/or for the treatment of PCa.
Project description:The Androgen Receptor (AR) plays a key role in prostate biology and in the progression of prostate cancer (PCa) to castration resistance. The role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in aberrant AR signaling have not been fully characterized. Here we screened a library of 810 miRNA mimics to identify miRNAs that alter AR activity in complementary functional assays including protein lysate microarray (LMA) quantification of AR and PSA protein levels, AR transcriptional reporter activity, and AR-positive PCa cell viability. Candidate AR-regulating miRNAs were verified through AR transcriptional reporter and cell viability assays. MiRNA binding sites were found within the AR 3'-untranslated region (UTR) and within the AR and AR-V7 coding regions. MiRNA activity was characterized by western blotting, 3'-UTR reporter assay, and AR-GFP and AR-V7-GFP reporter assays. Results uncovered miR-30 family members as direct AR inhibitors. Inhibition of endogenous miR-30b-3p and miR-30d-5p enhanced AR expression and androgen-independent cell growth. Droplet digital RT-PCR quantification of miR-30c-5p and miR-30d-5p revealed significantly reduced levels in metastatic castration resistant PCa (CRPC), when compared to healthy prostate tissues. MiR-30d-5p levels were inversely correlated with AR activity, as measured by PSA mRNA, in metastatic CRPC. Collectively, these studies provide a comprehensive evaluation of AR-regulating miRNAs in PCa.
Project description:Prostate cancer (PCa) bone metastases have long been believed to be osteoblastic because of bone remodeling leading to the formation of new bone. However, recent studies have shown increased osteolytic activity in the beginning stages of PCa bone metastases, suggesting that targeting both osteolytic and osteoblastic mediators would likely inhibit bone remodeling and PCa bone metastasis. In this study, we found that PCa cells could stimulate differentiation of osteoclasts and osteoblasts through the up-regulation of RANKL, RUNX2 and osteopontin, promoting bone remodeling. Interestingly, we found that formulated isoflavone and 3,3'-diindolylmethane (BR-DIM) were able to inhibit the differentiation of osteoclasts and osteoblasts through the inhibition of cell signal transduction in RANKL, osteoblastic, and PCa cell signaling. Moreover, we found that isoflavone and BR-DIM down-regulated the expression of miR-92a, which is known to be associated with RANKL signaling, EMT and cancer progression. By pathway and network analysis, we also observed the regulatory effects of isoflavone and BR-DIM on multiple signaling pathways such as AR/PSA, NKX3-1/Akt/p27, MITF, etc. Therefore, isoflavone and BR-DIM with their multi-targeted effects could be useful for the prevention of PCa progression, especially by attenuating bone metastasis mechanisms.
Project description:Androgen deprivation therapy in prostate cancer (PCa) causes neuroendocrine differentiation (NED) of prostatic adenocarcinomas (PAC) cells, leading to recurrence of PCa. Androgen-responsive genes involved in PCa progression including NED remain largely unknown. Here we demonstrated the importance of androgen receptor (AR)-microRNA-204 (miR-204)-XRN1 axis in PCa cell lines and the rat ventral prostate. Androgens downregulate miR-204, resulting in induction of XRN1 (5'-3' exoribonuclease 1), which we identified as a miR-204 target. miR-204 acts as a tumor suppressor in two PAC cell lines (LNCaP and 22Rv1) and as an oncomiR in two neuroendocrine-like prostate cancer (NEPC) cell lines (PC-3 and CL1). Importantly, overexpression of miR-204 and knockdown of XRN1 inhibited AR expression in PCa cells. Repression of miR-34a, a known AR-targeting miRNA, contributes AR expression by XRN1. Thus we revealed the AR-miR-204-XRN1-miR-34a positive feedback loop and a dual function of miR-204/XRN1 axis in prostate cancer.
Project description:Human cancers are heterogeneous containing stem-like cancer cells operationally defined as cancer stem cells (CSCs) that possess great tumor-initiating and long-term tumor-propagating properties. In this study, we systematically dissect the phenotypic, functional and tumorigenic heterogeneity in human prostate cancer (PCa) using xenograft models and >70 patient tumor samples. In the first part, we further investigate the PSA-/lo PCa cell population, which we have recently shown to harbor self-renewing long-term tumor-propagating cells and present several novel findings. We show that discordant AR and PSA expression in both untreated and castration-resistant PCa (CRPC) results in AR+PSA+, AR+PSA-, AR-PSA-, and AR-PSA+ subtypes of PCa cells that manifest differential sensitivities to therapeutics. We further demonstrate that castration leads to a great enrichment of PSA-/lo PCa cells in both xenograft tumors and CRPC samples and systemic androgen levels dynamically regulate the relative abundance of PSA+ versus PSA-/lo PCa cells that impacts the kinetics of tumor growth. We also present evidence that the PSA-/lo PCa cells possess distinct epigenetic profiles. As the PSA-/lo PCa cell population is heterogeneous, in the second part, we employ two PSA- (Du145 and PC3) and two PSA+ (LAPC9 and LAPC4) PCa models as well as patient tumor cells to further dissect the clonogenic and tumorigenic subsets. We report that different PCa models possess distinct tumorigenic subpopulations that both commonly and uniquely express important signaling pathways that could represent therapeutic targets. Our results have important implications in understanding PCa cell heterogeneity, response to clinical therapeutics, and cellular mechanisms underlying CRPC.
Project description:Prostate cancer (PCa) is an androgen-dependent disease. Androgen receptor (AR) has a crucial role in the development and progression of PCa. Recently, several microRNAs (miRNAs/miRs) involved in AR regulation have been associated with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), the terminal stage of PCa. Nevertheless, the precise mechanism remains unclear. The present study aimed to identify a novel miR-149 regulatory network and potential therapeutic target for CRPC. It was found that ectopic expression of miR-149 mimic could inhibit AR expression, repress epithelial-mesenchymal transition, induce cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in CRPC cell line C4-2, whereas the miR-149 inhibitor exerted the opposite effects. Furthermore, it was also revealed that miR-149 could reduce the functional activity of the PI3K/Akt1 signaling pathway by targeting Akt1 protein, the key regulatory factor of the PI3K/Akt1 signaling pathway. Knockdown of Akt1 by short hairpin RNA increased apoptosis, reduced proliferation, and restrained migration and invasion in CRPC cells, with the effect of AR inhibition. In conclusion, these results revealed that miR-149 acts as a tumor suppressor in CRPC cell line C4-2 and restrains its progression through the AR signaling pathway by targeting Akt1. The miR-149/Akt1/AR regulatory pathway may represent a novel PCa therapeutic target.
Project description:Castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) is the lethal form of prostate cancer (PCa), and the underlying molecular mechanism has not been fully elucidated. Inositol requiring enzyme 1 alpha (IRE1α), a key regulator of unfolded protein response (UPR), is intimately associated with PCa progression. However, whether IRE1α is implicated in CRPC development remains unknown. Here, we showed that IRE1α expression was significantly increased in CRPC tissues and high-grade PCa tissues. Overexpression of IRE1α promoted PCa cell proliferation under the androgen deficiency condition <i>in vitro</i> and <i>in vivo</i>. Mechanistically, increased IRE1α expression induced IL-6 secretion <i>via</i> the IRE1α/XBP-1s signal pathway. IRE1α-induced IL-6 activated androgen receptor (AR), and the activation of AR by IL-6, in turn, promoted IRE1α expression. IRE1α formed a positive feedback loop with IL-6 and AR to promote prostate cancer cell proliferation under the androgen-deficient condition. In clinical PCa samples, high IRE1α expression correlated with elevated IL-6 and increased PSA expression. Our findings demonstrated a novel mechanism of CRPC progression and suggest targeting IRE1α may be a potential target for the prevention and treatment of CRPC.
Project description:Consumption of cruciferous vegetables is associated with a decreased risk of developing prostate cancer. Antineoplastic effects of cruciferous vegetables are attributable to bioactive indoles, most prominently, 3, 3'-diindolylmethane (DIM). In addition to effects on proliferation and apoptosis, DIM acts as an antiandrogen in prostate cancer cell lines. This study characterized the effects of prostatic DIM on the androgen receptor (AR) in patients with prostate cancer. Men with localized prostate cancer were treated with a specially formulated DIM capsule designed for enhanced bioavailability (BR-DIM) at a dose of 225 mg orally twice daily for a minimum of 14 days. DIM levels and AR activity were assessed at the time of prostatectomy. Out of 28 evaluable patients, 26 (93%) had detectable prostatic DIM levels, with a mean concentration of 14.2 ng/gm. The mean DIM plasma level on BR-DIM therapy was 9.0 ng/mL; levels were undetectable at baseline and in follow-up samples. AR localization in the prostate was assessed with immunohistochemistry. After BR-DIM therapy, 96% of patients exhibited exclusion of the AR from the cell nucleus. In contrast, in prostate biopsy samples obtained prior to BR-DIM therapy, no patient exhibited AR nuclear exclusion. Declines in PSA were observed in a majority of patients (71%). Compliance was excellent and toxicity was minimal. In summary, BR-DIM treatment resulted in reliable prostatic DIM levels and anti-androgenic biologic effects at well tolerated doses. These results support further investigation of BR-DIM as a chemopreventive and therapeutic agent in prostate cancer.
Project description:The emergence of castrate-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) contributes to the high mortality of patients diagnosed with prostate cancer (PCa), which in part could be attributed to the existence and the emergence of cancer stem cells (CSCs). Recent studies have shown that deregulated expression of microRNAs (miRNAs) contributes to the initiation and progression of PCa. Among several known miRNAs, let-7 family appears to play a key role in the recurrence and progression of PCa by regulating CSCs; however, the mechanism by which let-7 family contributes to PCa aggressiveness is unclear. Enhancer of Zeste homolog 2 (EZH2), a putative target of let-7 family, was demonstrated to control stem cell function. In this study, we found loss of let-7 family with corresponding over-expression of EZH2 in human PCa tissue specimens, especially in higher Gleason grade tumors. Overexpression of let-7 by transfection of let-7 precursors decreased EZH2 expression and repressed clonogenic ability and sphere-forming capacity of PCa cells, which was consistent with inhibition of EZH2 3'UTR luciferase activity. We also found that the treatment of PCa cells with BR-DIM (formulated DIM: 3,3'-diindolylmethane by Bio Response, Boulder, CO, abbreviated as BR-DIM) up-regulated let-7 and down-regulated EZH2 expression, consistent with inhibition of self-renewal and clonogenic capacity. Moreover, BR-DIM intervention in our on-going phase II clinical trial in patients prior to radical prostatectomy showed upregulation of let-7 consistent with down-regulation of EZH2 expression in PCa tissue specimens after BR-DIM intervention. These results suggest that the loss of let-7 mediated increased expression of EZH2 contributes to PCa aggressiveness, which could be attenuated by BR-DIM treatment, and thus BR-DIM is likely to have clinical impact.