Chemical ablation of androgen receptor in prostate cancer cells by the histone deacetylase inhibitor LAQ824

Mol Cancer Ther. 2005 Sep;4(9):1311-9. doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-04-0287.


Androgen receptor plays a critical role in the development of primary as well as advanced hormone-refractory prostate cancer. Therefore, ablation of androgen receptor from prostate cancer cells is an interesting concept for developing a new therapy not only for androgen-dependent prostate cancer but also for metastatic hormone-refractory prostate cancer, for which there is no effective treatment available. We report here that LAQ824, a cinnamyl hydroxamatic acid histone deacetylase inhibitor currently in human clinical trials, effectively depleted androgen receptor in prostate cancer cells at nanomolar concentrations. LAQ824 seemed capable of depleting both the mutant and wild-type androgen receptors in either androgen-dependent and androgen-independent prostate cancer cells. Although LAQ824 may exert its effect through multiple mechanisms, several lines of evidence suggest that inactivation of the heat shock protein-90 (Hsp90) molecular chaperone is involved in LAQ824-induced androgen receptor depletion. Besides androgen receptor, LAQ824 reduced the level of Hsp90 client proteins HER-2 (ErbB2), Akt/PKB, and Raf-1 in LNCaP cells. Another Hsp90 inhibitor, 17-allyamino-17-demethoxygeldanamycin (17-AAG), also induced androgen receptor diminution. LAQ824 induced Hsp90 acetylation in LNCaP cells, which resulted in inhibition of its ATP-binding activity, dissociation of Hsp90-androgen receptor complex, and proteasome-mediated degradation of androgen receptor. Consequently, LAQ824 blocked androgen-induced prostate-specific antigen production in LNCaP cells. LAQ824 effectively inhibited cell proliferation and induced apoptosis of these prostate cancer cells. These results reveal that LAQ824 is a potent agent for depletion of androgen receptor and a potential new drug for prostate cancer.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acetylation / drug effects
  • Androgens
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Benzoquinones
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors*
  • Humans
  • Hydroxamic Acids / pharmacology*
  • Immunoprecipitation
  • Lactams, Macrocyclic
  • Male
  • Neoplasms, Hormone-Dependent / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms, Hormone-Dependent / secondary
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / metabolism
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-raf / metabolism
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / metabolism
  • Receptors, Androgen / metabolism*
  • Rifabutin / analogs & derivatives
  • Rifabutin / pharmacology
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Androgens
  • Benzoquinones
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • HSP90 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors
  • Hydroxamic Acids
  • LAQ824
  • Lactams, Macrocyclic
  • Receptors, Androgen
  • Rifabutin
  • tanespimycin
  • Receptor, ErbB-2
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-raf
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen