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Cholesterol biosynthesis inhibitor RO 48-8071 suppresses growth of hormone-dependent and castration-resistant prostate cancer cells

Authors Liang Y, Mafuvadze B, Aebi J, Hyder S

Received 3 February 2016

Accepted for publication 14 March 2016

Published 30 May 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 3223—3232

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OTT.S105725

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Faris Farassati


Yayun Liang,1 Benford Mafuvadze,1 Johannes D Aebi,2 Salman M Hyder1

1Dalton Cardiovascular Research Center and Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO, USA; 2Medicinal Chemistry, Roche Pharma Research and Early Development (pRED), Roche Innovation Center Basel, F Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., Basel, Switzerland

Abstract: Standard treatment for primary prostate cancer includes systemic exposure to chemotherapeutic drugs that target androgen receptor or antihormone therapy (chemical castration); however, drug-resistant cancer cells generally emerge during treatment, limiting the continued use of systemic chemotherapy. Patients are then treated with more toxic standard therapies. Therefore, there is an urgent need for novel and more effective treatments for prostate cancer. The cholesterol biosynthetic pathway is an attractive therapeutic target for treating endocrine-dependent cancers because cholesterol is an essential structural and functional component of cell membranes as well as the metabolic precursor of endogenous steroid hormones. In this study, we have examined the effects of RO 48-8071 (4'-[6-(allylmethylamino)hexyloxy]-4-bromo-2'-fluorobenzophenone fumarate; Roche Pharmaceuticals internal reference: RO0488071) (RO), which is an inhibitor of 2, 3-oxidosqualene cyclase (a key enzyme in the cholesterol biosynthetic pathway), on prostate cancer cells. Exposure of both hormone-dependent and castration-resistant human prostate cancer cells to RO reduced prostate cancer cell viability and induced apoptosis in vitro. RO treatment reduced androgen receptor protein expression in hormone-dependent prostate cancer cells and increased estrogen receptor β (ERβ) protein expression in both hormone-dependent and castration-resistant prostate cancer cell lines. Combining RO with an ERβ agonist increased its ability to reduce castration-resistant prostate cancer cell viability. In addition, RO effectively suppressed the growth of aggressive castration-resistant human prostate cancer cell xenografts in vivo without any signs of toxicity to experimental animals. Importantly, RO did not reduce the viability of normal prostate cells in vitro. Our study is the first to demonstrate that the cholesterol biosynthesis inhibitor RO effectively suppresses growth of human prostate cancer cells. Our findings suggest that cholesterol biosynthesis inhibitors such as RO, when used in combination with commonly used chemotherapeutic drugs or ERβ specific ligands, could represent a novel therapeutic approach to prevent the growth of prostate cancer tumors.

Keywords: prostate cancer, cholesterol biosynthesis inhibitor, cell viability, xenograft, castration resistant

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