Cryptotanshinone suppresses androgen receptor-mediated growth in androgen dependent and castration resistant prostate cancer cells.
ABSTRACT: Androgen receptor (AR) is the major therapeutic target for the treatment of prostate cancer (PCa). Anti-androgens to reduce or prevent androgens binding to AR are widely used to suppress AR-mediated PCa growth; however, the androgen depletion therapy is only effective for a short period of time. Here we found a natural product/Chinese herbal medicine cryptotanshinone (CTS), with a structure similar to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), can effectively inhibit the DHT-induced AR transactivation and prostate cancer cell growth. Our results indicated that 0.5 ?M CTS effectively suppresses the growth of AR-positive PCa cells, but has little effect on AR negative PC-3 cells and non-malignant prostate epithelial cells. Furthermore, our data indicated that CTS could modulate AR transactivation and suppress the DHT-mediated AR target genes (PSA, TMPRSS2, and TMEPA1) expression in both androgen responsive PCa LNCaP cells and castration resistant CWR22rv1 cells. Importantly, CTS selectively inhibits AR without repressing the activities of other nuclear receptors, including ER?, GR, and PR. The mechanistic studies indicate that CTS functions as an AR inhibitor to suppress androgen/AR-mediated cell growth and PSA expression by blocking AR dimerization and the AR-coregulator complex formation. Furthermore, we showed that CTS effectively inhibits CWR22Rv1 cell growth and expressions of AR target genes in the xenograft animal model. The previously un-described mechanisms of CTS may explain how CTS inhibits the growth of PCa cells and help us to establish new therapeutic concepts for the treatment of PCa.
Project description:Early studies suggested androgen receptor (AR) splice variants might contribute to the progression of prostate cancer (PCa) into castration resistance. However, the therapeutic strategy to target these AR splice variants still remains unresolved. Through tissue survey of tumors from the same patients before and after castration resistance, we found that the expression of AR3, a major AR splice variant that lacks the AR ligand-binding domain, was substantially increased after castration resistance development. The currently used antiandrogen, Casodex, showed little growth suppression in CWR22Rv1 cells. Importantly, we found that AR degradation enhancer ASC-J9 could degrade both full-length (fAR) and AR3 in CWR22Rv1 cells as well as in C4-2 and C81 cells with addition of AR3. The consequences of such degradation of both fAR and AR3 might then result in the inhibition of AR transcriptional activity and cell growth in vitro. More importantly, suppression of AR3 specifically by short-hairpin AR3 or degradation of AR3 by ASC-J9 resulted in suppression of AR transcriptional activity and cell growth in CWR22Rv1-fARKD (fAR knockdown) cells in which DHT failed to induce, suggesting the importance of targeting AR3. Finally, we demonstrated the in vivo therapeutic effects of ASC-J9 by showing the inhibition of PCa growth using the xenografted model of CWR22Rv1 cells orthotopically implanted into castrated nude mice with undetectable serum testosterone. These results suggested that targeting both fAR- and AR3-mediated PCa growth by ASC-J9 may represent the novel therapeutic approach to suppress castration-resistant PCa. Successful clinical trials targeting both fAR and AR3 may help us to battle castration-resistant PCa in the future.
Project description:Adrenal androgens dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and DHEA-sulfate (DHEAS) are potential substrates for intracrine production of testosterone (T) and dihydrotestosterone (DHT), or directly to DHT, by prostate cancer (PCa) cells. Production of DHT from DHEAS and DHEA, and the role of steroid sulfatase (STS), were evaluated ex vivo using fresh human prostate tissue and in vitro using human PCa cell lines. STS was expressed in benign prostate tissue and PCa tissue. DHEAS at a physiological concentration was converted to DHT in prostate tissue and PCa cell lines, which was STS-dependent. DHEAS activation of androgen receptor (AR) and stimulation of PCa cell growth were STS-dependent. DHEA at a physiological concentration was not converted to DHT ex vivo and in vitro, but stimulated in vivo tumor growth of the human PCa cell line, VCaP, in castrated mice. The findings suggest that targeting metabolism of DHEAS and DHEA may enhance androgen deprivation therapy.
Project description:Ligand-mediated activation of the androgen receptor (AR) is critical for prostate cancer (PCa) survival and proliferation. The failure to completely ablate tissue androgens may limit suppression of PCa growth. We evaluated combinations of CYP17A and 5-?-reductase inhibitors for reducing prostate androgen levels, AR signaling, and PCa volumes.Thirty-five men with intermediate/high-risk clinically localized PCa were randomly assigned to goserelin combined with dutasteride (ZD), bicalutamide and dutasteride (ZBD), or bicalutamide, dutasteride, and ketoconazole (ZBDK) for 3 months before prostatectomy. Controls included patients receiving combined androgen blockade with luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone agonist and bicalutamide. The primary outcome measure was tissue dihydrotestosterone (DHT) concentration.Prostate DHT levels were substantially lower in all experimental arms (0.02 to 0.04 ng/g v 0.92 ng/g in controls; P < .001). The ZBDK group demonstrated the greatest percentage decline in serum testosterone, androsterone, and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (P < .05 for all). Staining for AR and the androgen-regulated genes prostate-specific antigen and TMPRSS2 was strongly suppressed in benign glands and moderately in malignant glands (P < .05 for all). Two patients had pathologic complete response, and nine had ? 0.2 cm(3) of residual tumor (defined as a near-complete response), with the largest numbers of complete and near-complete responses in the ZBDK group.Addition of androgen synthesis inhibitors lowers prostate androgens below that achieved with standard therapy, but significant AR signaling remains. Tissue-based analysis of steroids and AR signaling is critical to informing the search for optimal local and systemic control of high-risk prostate cancer.
Project description:Prostate cancer (PCa) is the second leading cause of cancer mortality of men in Western countries. The androgen receptor (AR) and AR-agonists (androgens) are required for the development and progression of the normal prostate as well as PCa. However, it is discussed that in addition to their tumor promoting activity, androgens may also exhibit tumor suppressive effects. A biphasic growth response to androgens a growth-promoting and -inhibition has been observed that suggests that administration of supraphysiological androgen levels mediates growth reduction in AR expressing PCa cells.Detection of senescence markers, three dimensional interphase fluorescence in situ hybridization (3D-iFISH), qRT-PCR, Western blotting, detection of GFP fusions, prostatectomy, ex vivo culturing.Here, we describe that supraphysiological levels of androgens induce cell cycle arrest and markers of cellular senescence in human PCa cells, which may in part explain the growth inhibitory role of androgens. The expression of the senescence associated beta galactosidase is observed by treatment with the natural androgen DHT or the less metabolized synthetic androgen R1881. The induction of senescence marker was detected in human PCa cell lines as well as in human primary PCa tissue derived from prostatectomy treated ex vivo. Using interphase FISH (iFISH) suggests that the androgen-induced cellular senescence is associated with localizing the genomic E2F1 locus to senescence associated heterochromatic foci. Analysis of different signaling pathways in LNCaP cells suggest that the p16-Rb-E2F1 pathway is essential for the induction of cellular senescence since treatment with siRNA directed against p16 reduces the level of androgen-induced cellular senescence. Based on the rapid induction of androgen-mediated cellular senescence we identified the Src-PI3K-Akt-signaling pathway and autophagy being in part involved in androgen regulation.Taken together, our data suggest that AR-agonists at supraphysiological levels mediate induction of cellular senescence in human PCa cells, which may have a protective anti-cancer role. These results provide also new insights for understanding androgen-mediated regulation of PCa growth.
Project description:Androgens play an important role in prostate cancer (PCa) development and progression. Accordingly, androgen deprivation therapy remains the front-line treatment for locally recurrent or advanced PCa, but patients eventually relapse with the lethal form of the disease termed castration resistant PCa (CRPC). Importantly, castration does not eliminate androgens from the prostate tumor microenvironment which is characterized by elevated tissue androgens that are well within the range capable of activating the androgen receptor (AR). In this mini-review, we discuss emerging data that suggest a role for the enzymes mediating pre-receptor control of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) metabolism, including AKR1C2, HSD17B6, HSD17B10, and the UGT family members UGT2B15 and UGT2B17, in controlling intratumoral androgen levels, and thereby influencing PCa progression. We review the expression of steroidogenic enzymes involved in this pathway in primary PCa and CRPC, the activity and regulation of these enzymes in PCa experimental models, and the impact of genetic variation in genes mediating pre-receptor DHT metabolism on PCa risk. Finally, we discuss recent data that suggests several of these enzymes may also play an unrecognized role in CRPC progression separate from their role in androgen inactivation.
Project description:Enhanced intratumoral androgen biosynthesis and persistent androgen receptor (AR) signaling are key factors responsible for the relapse growth of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). Residual intraprostatic androgens can be produced by de novo synthesis of androgens from cholesterol or conversion from adrenal androgens by steroidogenic enzymes expressed in prostate cancer cells via different steroidogenic pathways. However, the dysregulation of androgen biosynthetic enzymes in CRPC still remains poorly understood. This study aims to elucidate the role of the nuclear receptor, estrogen-related receptor alpha (ERR?, ESRRA), in the promotion of androgen biosynthesis in CRPC growth. Methods: ERR? expression in CRPC patients was analyzed using Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) datasets and validated in established CRPC xenograft model. The roles of ERR? in the promotion of castration-resistant growth were elucidated by overexpression and knockdown studies and the intratumoral androgen levels were measured by UPLC-MS/MS. The effect of suppression of ERR? activity in the potentiation of sensitivity to androgen-deprivation was determined using an ERR? inverse agonist. Results: ERR? exhibited an increased expression in metastatic CRPC and CRPC xenograft model, could act to promote castration-resistant growth via direct transactivation of two key androgen synthesis enzymes CYP11A1 and AKR1C3, and hence enhance intraprostatic production of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and activation of AR signaling in prostate cancer cells. Notably, inhibition of ERR? activity by an inverse agonist XCT790 could reduce the DHT production and suppress AR signaling in prostate cancer cells. Conclusion: Our study reveals a new role of ERR? in the intratumoral androgen biosynthesis in CRPC via its transcriptional control of steroidogenic enzymes, and also provides a novel insight that targeting ERR? could be a potential androgen-deprivation strategy for the management of CRPC.
Project description:Using androgen receptor (AR) knockout mice to determine AR functions in selective prostate cancer (PCa) cells, we determined that AR might play differential roles in various cell types, either to promote or suppress PCa development/progression. These observations partially explain the failure of current androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) to reduce/prevent androgen binding to AR in every cell. Herein, we identified the AR degradation enhancer ASC-J9, which selectively degrades AR protein via interruption of the AR-AR selective coregulator interaction. Such selective interruption could, therefore, suppress AR-mediated PCa growth in the androgen-sensitive stage before ADT and in the castration-resistant stage after ADT. Mechanistic dissection suggested that ASC-J9 could activate the proteasome-dependent pathway to promote AR degradation through the enhanced association of AR-Mdm2 complex. The consequences of ASC-J9-promoted AR degradation included reduced androgen binding to AR, AR N-C terminal interaction, and AR nuclear translocation. Such inhibitory regulation could then result in suppression of AR transactivation and AR-mediated cell growth in eight different mouse models, including intact or castrated nude mice xenografted with androgen-sensitive LNCaP cells or androgen-insensitive C81 cells and castrated nude mice xenografted with castration-resistant C4-2 and CWR22Rv1 cells, and TRAMP and Pten(+/-) mice. These results demonstrate that ASC-J9 could serve as an AR degradation enhancer that effectively suppresses PCa development/progression in the androgen-sensitive and castration-resistant stages.
Project description:Although well characterized as a transcriptional activator that drives prostate cancer (PCa) growth, androgen receptor (AR) can function as a transcriptional repressor, and high-level androgens can suppress PCa proliferation. The molecular basis for this repression activity remains to be determined. Genes required for DNA replication are highly enriched among androgen-repressed genes, and AR is recruited to the majority of these genes, where it rapidly represses their transcription. This activity is enhanced in PCa cells expressing high AR levels and is mediated by recruitment of hypophosphorylated retinoblastoma protein (Rb). Significantly, AR also indirectly increases the expression of DNA replication genes through stimulatory effects on other metabolic genes with subsequent CDK activation and Rb hyperphosphorylation. In castration-resistant PCa cells, which are dependent on high-level AR expression, this anti-proliferative repression function might be exploited through treatment with androgen in combination with agents that suppress AR-driven metabolic functions or cell cycle progression.
Project description:The androgen receptor (AR) plays roles in prostate development and cancer (PCa). In response to androgens, the AR binds to androgen-response elements (AREs) to modulate gene transcription. The responses of such genes are dependent on the cellular milieu and on sequences around the AREs, which attract other transcription factors. Previously, bioinformatic analysis of 62 AR-occupied regions (ARORs) in PCa cells revealed enrichment for both AREs and a TTGGCAAATA-like motif. We undertook the present study to investigate the significance of the TTGGCAAATA-like motif.Prostate cancer cell lines, LNCaP and C4-2B, were analyzed by transient transfections of wild-type and mutant reporter constructs, electro-mobility shift assays (EMSAs), and RT-qPCR analysis of endogenous genes.In two of six tested ARORs, point mutations in the TTGGCAAATA-like motif resulted in inhibition of DHT-mediated enhancer activity. EMSA revealed that Oct1 bound the motif, and that the mutations that abolished DHT responsiveness in the transfection assays augmented Oct1 binding. These results suggest a role for Oct1 as a context-dependent negative coregulator of AR. Consistent with this, siRNA knockdown of Oct1 increased the DHT-mediated enhancer activity of transfected reporters as well as an endogenous AR target gene, transglutaminase 2.Oct1 negatively regulates DHT-mediated enhancer activity in a subset of ARORs. The enrichment of ARORs for the Oct-binding, TTGGCAAATA-like motif may reflect a mechanism that utilizes Oct1 to keep AR activity in check at some ARORs, while augmenting AR activity in other ARORs. Therefore, Oct1 may have regulatory functions in prostate development and cancer progression.
Project description:The NAD-dependent histone deacetylase Sir2 plays a key role in connecting cellular metabolism with gene silencing and aging. The androgen receptor (AR) is a ligand-regulated modular nuclear receptor governing prostate cancer cellular proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis in response to androgens, including dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Here, SIRT1 antagonists induce endogenous AR expression and enhance DHT-mediated AR expression. SIRT1 binds and deacetylates the AR at a conserved lysine motif. Human SIRT1 (hSIRT1) repression of DHT-induced AR signaling requires the NAD-dependent catalytic function of hSIRT1 and the AR lysine residues deacetylated by SIRT1. SIRT1 inhibited coactivator-induced interactions between the AR amino and carboxyl termini. DHT-induced prostate cancer cellular contact-independent growth is also blocked by SIRT1, providing a direct functional link between the AR, which is a critical determinant of progression of human prostate cancer, and the sirtuins.