Aim: To examine whether two naturally occurring sesquiterpenoids (ST1 and ST2) with anti-proliferative activity in prostate cancer cells inhibit androgen receptor (AR) signaling.
Methods: Human prostate cancer cell lines LNCaP and PC3 were used. The expression of AR, AR translocation into the nucleus, and expression levels of AR coactivators ARA70 and steroid receptor coactivator-1 (SRC-1) in LNCaP cells were examined using real-time PCR and Western blot. Changes in prostate-specific antigen (PSA) protein levels, PSA promoter activity, and androgen response element (ARE)-mediated reporter gene activity were examined using enzyme-linked immunoabsorbent assay (ELISA) and transient transfection assays. Co-immunoprecipitation was performed to analyze the interaction between AR and the AR coactivators in ST1- and ST2-treated cells.
Results: In LNCaP cells, ST1 and ST2 (40 μmol/L) led to a significant decrease in the expression of AR as well as a reduction of AR translocation into the nucleus, but had no effect on AR protein translation. ST1 and ST2 treatment also resulted in a significant decrease in the level of PSA protein secreted into the medium and was able to suppress PSA promoter-dependent and ARE-dependent luciferase activity. Furthermore, decreased expression of ARA70 and SRC-1 was observed when LNCaP cells were exposed to ST1 and ST2, which interfered with their ability to interact with AR.
Conclusion: The observations suggest that suppression of AR transactivation by ST1 and ST2 may be mediated, in part, by inhibiting AR nuclear translocation and/or interfering with the interaction between AR and its coactivators ARA70 and SRC-1. Therefore, sesquiterpenoids could be developed as novel therapeutic agents for treating prostate cancer.