The present study was conducted to determine the efficacy of novel flavonoid vicenin-2 (VCN-2), an active constituent of the medicinal herb Ocimum Sanctum Linn or Tulsi, as a single agent and in combination with docetaxel (DTL) in carcinoma of prostate (CaP). VCN-2 effectively induced anti-proliferative, anti-angiogenic and pro-apoptotic effect in CaP cells (PC-3, DU-145 and LNCaP) irrespective of their androgen responsiveness or p53 status. VCN-2 inhibited EGFR/Akt/mTOR/p70S6K pathway along with decreasing c-Myc, cyclin D1, cyclin B1, CDK4, PCNA and hTERT in vitro. VCN-2 reached a level of 2.6±0.3μmol/l in serum after oral administration in mice which reflected that VCN-2 is orally absorbed. The i.v. administration of docetaxel (DTL), current drug of choice in androgen-independent CaP, is associated with dose-limiting toxicities like febrile neutropenia which has lead to characterization of alternate routes of administration and potential combinatorial regimens. In this regard, VCN-2 in combination with DTL synergistically inhibited the growth of prostate tumors in vivo with a greater decrease in the levels of AR, pIGF1R, pAkt, PCNA, cyclin D1, Ki67, CD31, and increase in E-cadherin. VCN-2 has been investigated for radioprotection and anti-inflammatory properties. This is the first study on the anti-cancer effects of VCN-2. In conclusion, our investigations collectively provide strong evidence that VCN-2 is effective against CaP progression along with indicating that VCN-2 and DTL co-administration is more effective than either of the single agents in androgen-independent prostate cancer.
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