The biological mechanisms underlying castration resistance of prostate cancer are not fully understood. In the present study, we examined the role of organic anion transporting polypeptides (OATPs) as importers of dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) into cells to support growth under androgen-depleted conditions. Cell growth and mRNA expression of OATP genes were studied in human prostate cancer LNCaP and 22Rv1 cells under androgen-depleted conditions. The stimulatory effect of DHEAS on cell growth was investigated in LNCaP cells in which OATP1A2 had been silenced. Growth of both cell lines was stimulated by DHEAS and the effect was attenuated by STX64, an inhibitor of steroid sulfatase which can covert DHEAS to DHEA. OATP1A2 mRNA expression was increased most prominently among various genes tested in LNCaP cells grown in androgen-depleted medium. Similar results were obtained with 22Rv1 cells. Furthermore, the characteristics of [(3)H]DHEAS uptake by LNCaP cells were consistent with those of OATP-mediated transport. Knockdown of OATP1A2 in LNCaP cells resulted in loss of the DHEAS sensitivity of cell growth. Our results suggest that enhanced OATP1A2 expression is associated with adaptive cell growth of prostate cancer cells under androgen-depleted conditions. Thus, OATP1A2 may be a pharmacological target for prostate cancer treatment.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.