Arch Biochem Biophys. 2023 Jan 12:109519. doi: 10.1016/j.abb.2023.109519. Online ahead of print.
Prostate cancer has a relatively good prognosis, but most cases develop resistance to hormone therapy, leading to castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). Androgen receptor (AR) antagonists and a cytochrome P450 17A1 inhibitor have been used to treat CRPC, but cancer cells readily develop resistance to these drugs. In this study, to improve the therapy of CRPC, we searched for natural compounds which block androgen signaling. Among cinnamic acid derivatives contained in Brazilian green propolis, artepillin C (ArtC) suppressed expressions of androgen-induced prostate-specific antigen and transmembrane protease serine 2 in a dose-dependent manner. Reporter assays revealed that ArtC displayed AR antagonist activity, albeit weaker than an AR antagonist flutamide. In general, aberrant activation of the androgen signaling is involved in the resistance of prostate cancer cells to hormone therapy. Recently, apalutamide, a novel AR antagonist, has been in clinical use, but its drug-resistant cases have been already reported. To search for compounds which overcome the resistance to apalutamide, we established apalutamide-resistant prostate cancer 22Rv1 cells (22Rv1/APA). The 22Rv1/APA cells showed higher AR expression and androgen sensitivity than parental 22Rv1 cells. ArtC inhibited androgen-induced proliferation of 22Rv1/APA cells by suppressing the enhanced androgen signaling through blocking the nuclear translocation of AR. In addition, ArtC potently sensitized the resistant cells to apalutamide by inducing apoptotic cell death due to mitochondrial dysfunction. These results suggest that the intake of Brazilian green propolis containing ArtC improves prostate cancer therapy.
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