Background: The objective of this work was to determine the effect of an androgen agonist, R1881, on intracellular cholesterol synthesis and esterification in androgen-sensitive (AS) prostate cancer (LNCaP) cells.
Methods: We investigated the activity and expression of cholesterol metabolism enzymes, HMG-CoA-reductase and ACAT in the LNCaP and PC-3 (androgen-independent control) models.
Results: Microsomal PC-3 HMG-CoA-reductase activity was increased with R1881 despite having similar cholesterol levels while increased cholesterol levels in microsomes from LNCaPs treated with R1881 (L+) were associated with increased HMG-CoA reductase activity. Increased intracellular cholesteryl esters (CE) found in (L+) were not associated with an increased ACAT1 activity. There was no effect from androgen treatment on ACAT1 protein expression in theses cells; however, ACAT2 expression was induced upon R1881 treatment. In contrast, we found an increase in the in vitro ACAT1 activity in PC-3 cells treated with androgen (P+). Only ACAT1 expression was induced in P+. We further assessed the expression of STAT1 alpha, a transcriptional activator that modulates ACAT1 expression. STAT1 alpha expression and phosphorylation were induced in P+. To determine the role of the AR on ACAT1 expression and esterification, we treated PC-3 cells overexpressing the androgen receptor with R1881 (PAR+). AR expression was decreased in PAR+ cells; ACAT1 protein expression and cholesterol ester levels were also decreased, however, ACAT2 remained unchanged. STAT1 alpha expression was decreased in PAR+.
Conclusions: Overall, these findings support the importance of cholesterol metabolism regulation within prostate cancer cells and unravel a novel role for STAT1 alpha in prostate cancer metabolism.
(c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.