Radiotherapy of is well established and frequently utilized in prostate cancer (PCa) patients. However, recurrence following therapy and distant metastases are commonly encountered problems. Previous studies underline that, in addition to its therapeutic effects, ionizing radiation (IR) increases the vascularity and invasiveness of surviving radioresistant cancer cells. This invasive phenotype of radioresistant cells is an upshot of IR-induced pro-survival and mitogenic signaling in cancer as well as endothelial cells. Here, we demonstrate that a plant flavonoid, silibinin can radiosensitize endothelial cells by inhibiting expression of pro-angiogenic factors. Combining silibinin with IR not only strongly down-regulated endothelial cell proliferation, clonogenicity and tube formation ability rather it strongly (p<0.001) reduced migratory and invasive properties of PCa cells which were otherwise marginally affected by IR treatment alone. Most of the pro-angiogenic (VEGF, iNOS), migratory (MMP-2) and EMT promoting proteins (uPA, vimentin, N-cadherin) were up-regulated by IR in PCa cells. Interestingly, all of these invasive and EMT promoting actions of IR were markedly decreased by silibinin. Further, we found that potentiated effect was an end result of attenuation of IR-activated mitogenic and pro-survival signaling, including Akt, Erk1/2 and STAT-3, by silibinin.
Keywords: Invasion; Ionizing radiation; Mitogenic signaling; Prostate cancer; Silibinin.
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