Docetaxel/cabazitaxel and fatty acid binding protein 5 inhibitors produce synergistic inhibition of prostate cancer growth

Prostate. 2020 Jan;80(1):88-98. doi: 10.1002/pros.23921. Epub 2019 Oct 29.


Background: Prostate cancer (PCa) remains the second leading cause of cancer-related death among men. Taxanes, such as docetaxel and cabazitaxel are utilized in standard treatment regimens for chemotherapy naïve castration-resistant PCa. However, tumors often develop resistance to taxane chemotherapeutics, highlighting a need to identify additional therapeutic targets. Fatty acid-binding protein 5 (FABP5) is an intracellular lipid carrier whose expression is upregulated in metastatic PCa and increases cell growth, invasion, and tumor formation. Here, we assessed whether FABP5 inhibitors synergize with semi-synthetic taxanes to induce cytotoxicity in vitro and attenuate tumor growth in vivo.

Methods: PC3, DU-145, and 22Rv1 PCa cells were incubated with FABP5 inhibitors Stony Brook fatty acid-binding protein inhibitor 102 (SBFI-102) or SBFI-103 in the presence or absence of docetaxel or cabazitaxel, and cytotoxicity was evaluated using the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5 diphenyl tetrazolium bromide assay. Cytotoxicity of SBFI-102 and SBFI-103 was also evaluated in noncancerous cells. For the in vivo studies, PC3 cells were subcutaneously implanted into BALB/c nude mice, which were subsequently treated with FABP5 inhibitors, docetaxel, or a combination of both.

Results: SBFI-102 and SBFI-103 produced cytotoxicity in the PCa cells. Coincubation of the PCa cells with FABP5 inhibitors and docetaxel or cabazitaxel produced synergistic cytotoxic effects in vitro. Treatment of mice with FABP5 inhibitors reduced tumor growth and a combination of FABP5 inhibitors with a submaximal dose of docetaxel reduced tumor growth to a larger extent than treatment with each drug alone.

Conclusions: FABP5 inhibitors increase the cytotoxic and tumor-suppressive effects of taxanes in PCa cells. The ability of these drugs to synergize could permit more efficacious antitumor activity while allowing for dosages of docetaxel or cabazitaxel to be lowered, potentially decreasing taxane-resistance.

Keywords: Stony Brook fatty acid-binding protein inhibitor; cabazitaxel; docetaxel; drug discovery; fatty acid-binding protein; taxanes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / pharmacology*
  • Cell Growth Processes / drug effects
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Docetaxel / administration & dosage
  • Docetaxel / pharmacology*
  • Drug Synergism
  • Fatty Acid-Binding Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Nude
  • PC-3 Cells
  • Prostatic Neoplasms, Castration-Resistant / drug therapy
  • Taxoids / administration & dosage
  • Taxoids / pharmacology*
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays


  • FABP5 protein, human
  • Fatty Acid-Binding Proteins
  • Taxoids
  • Docetaxel
  • cabazitaxel