Purpose: Androgen receptor (AR)-targeting prostate cancer drugs, which are predominantly competitive ligand-binding domain (LBD)-binding antagonists, are inactivated by common resistance mechanisms. It is important to develop next-generation mechanistically distinct drugs to treat castration- and drug-resistant prostate cancers.
Experimental design: Second-generation AR pan antagonist UT-34 was selected from a library of compounds and tested in competitive AR binding and transactivation assays. UT-34 was tested using biophysical methods for binding to the AR activation function-1 (AF-1) domain. Western blot, gene expression, and proliferation assays were performed in various AR-positive enzalutamide-sensitive and -resistant prostate cancer cell lines. Pharmacokinetic and xenograft studies were performed in immunocompromised rats and mice.
Results: UT-34 inhibits the wild-type and LBD-mutant ARs comparably and inhibits the in vitro proliferation and in vivo growth of enzalutamide-sensitive and -resistant prostate cancer xenografts. In preclinical models, UT-34 induced the regression of enzalutamide-resistant tumors at doses when the AR is degraded; but, at lower doses, when the AR is just antagonized, it inhibits, without shrinking, the tumors. This indicates that degradation might be a prerequisite for tumor regression. Mechanistically, UT-34 promotes a conformation that is distinct from the LBD-binding competitive antagonist enzalutamide and degrades the AR through the ubiquitin proteasome mechanism. UT-34 has a broad safety margin and exhibits no cross-reactivity with G-protein-coupled receptor kinase and nuclear receptor family members.
Conclusions: Collectively, UT-34 exhibits the properties necessary for a next-generation prostate cancer drug.
©2019 American Association for Cancer Research.