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Multimodal actions of the phytochemical sulforaphane suppress both AR and AR-V7 in 22Rv1 cells: Advocating a potent pharmaceutical combination against castration-resistant prostate cancer.

Oncol Rep; 38(5): 2774-2786, 2017 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28901514
Prostate cancer (PCa) cells expressing full-length androgen receptor (AR-FL) are susceptible to androgen deprivation therapy (ADT). However, outgrowth of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) can occur due to the expression of constitutively active (ligand-independent) AR splice variants, particularly AR-V7. We previously demonstrated that sulforaphane (SFN), an isothiocyanate phytochemical, can decrease AR-FL levels in the PCa cell lines, LNCaP and C4-2B. Here, we examined the efficacy of SFN in targeting both AR-FL and AR-V7 in the CRPC cell line, CWR22Rv1 (22Rv1). MTT cell viability, wound-heal assay, and colony forming unit (CFU) measurements revealed that 22Rv1 cells are resistant to the anti-androgen, enzalutamide (ENZ). However, co-exposure to SFN sensitized these cells to the potent anticancer effects of ENZ (P<0.05). Immunoblot analyses showed that SFN (5-20 µM) rapidly decreases both AR-FL and AR-V7 levels, and immunofluorescence microscopy (IFM) depicted decreased AR in both cytoplasm and nucleus with SFN treatment. SFN increased both ubiquitination and proteasomal activity in 22Rv1 cells. Studies using a protein synthesis inhibitor (cycloheximide) or a proteasomal inhibitor (MG132) indicated that SFN increases both ubiquitin-mediated aggregation and subsequent proteasomal-degradation of AR proteins. Previous studies reported that SFN inhibits the chaperone activity of heat-shock protein 90 (Hsp90) and induces the nuclear factor erythroid-2-like 2 (Nrf2) transcription factor. Therefore, we investigated whether the Hsp90 inhibitor, ganetespib (G) or the Nrf2 activator, bardoxolone methyl (BM) can similarly suppress AR levels in 22Rv1 cells. Low doses of G and BM, alone or in combination, decreased both AR-FL and AR-V7 levels, and combined exposure to G+BM sensitized 22Rv1 cells to ENZ. Therefore, adjunct treatment with the phytochemical SFN or a safe pharmaceutical combination of G+BM may be effective against CRPC cells, especially those expressing AR-V7.