Soy and its constituent isoflavone genistein inhibit the development and progression of prostate cancer (PCa). Our study in both cultured cells and PCa patients reveals a novel pathway for the actions of genistein, namely the inhibition of the synthesis and biological actions of prostaglandins (PGs), known stimulators of PCa growth. In the cell culture experiments, genistein decreased cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) mRNA and protein expression in both human PCa cell lines (LNCaP and PC-3) and primary prostate epithelial cells and increased 15-hydroxyprostaglandin dehydrogenase (15-PGDH) mRNA levels in primary prostate cells. As a result genistein significantly reduced the secretion of PGE(2) by these cells. EP4 and FP PG receptor mRNA were also reduced by genistein, providing an additional mechanism for the suppression of PG biological effects. Further, the growth stimulatory effects of both exogenous PGs and endogenous PGs derived from precursor arachidonic acid were attenuated by genistein. We also performed a pilot randomised double blind clinical study in which placebo or soy isoflavone supplements were given to PCa patients in the neo-adjuvant setting for 2 weeks before prostatectomy. Gene expression changes were measured in the prostatectomy specimens. In PCa patients ingesting isoflavones, we observed significant decreases in prostate COX-2 mRNA and increases in p21 mRNA. There were significant correlations between COX-2 mRNA suppression, p21 mRNA stimulation and serum isoflavone levels. We propose that the inhibition of the PG pathway contributes to the beneficial effect of soy isoflavones in PCa chemoprevention and/or treatment.
(c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.