Background: P-glycoprotein (P-gp) is commonly associated with multi-drug resistance (MDR) in cancer cells and the efflux of a broad spectrum of chemicals from the cell, including many chemotherapeutics and certain steroid hormones. The impact of P-gp and mechanisms involved in androgen transport and cellular accumulation within normal and malignant prostate cells remains unclear.
Methods: Following incubation of LNCaP, PC-3, HeLa, and HeLa FLAG-androgen receptor (AR) cells with (3)H-dihydrotestosterone (DHT) alone and in combination with P-gp inhibitors, PSC-833 and verapamil, we examined the cellular accumulation and efflux of androgens, as well as gene transcriptional response.
Results: Our data reveal that the cellular transport and accumulation of DHT is dependent on the expression of functional AR and modulated by P-gp. P-gp over-expression by both transient transfection and aspirin treatment in LNCaP cells showed decreased intracellular DHT accumulation, further suggesting DHT efflux is P-gp regulated.
Conclusions: Androgen responsiveness may be modulated by P-gp in prostate cancer cells. The biological consequences of increased P-gp expression are decreased androgen accumulation and a corresponding decrease in androgen-regulated transcriptional activity and PSA gene expression.
Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.