Author(s): Furuhata S, Ide H, Miura Y, Yoshida T, Aoki K
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Androgen ablation has been the standard treatment for metastasized prostate cancer. In most cases, however, prostate cancer cells eventually lose androgen dependency and become refractory to the conventional endocrine therapy. Androgen-independent prostate cancer is characterized by a heterogeneous loss of androgen receptor (AR) expression among tumor cells. Prostate-specific promoters such as prostate-specific antigen and rat probasin (rPB) promoters have been examined in the development of gene therapy targeted to prostate cancer. However, those promoters require binding of the androgen-AR complex to the androgen-response element and are active only in the androgen-dependent prostate cancer cell lines and not in the androgen-independent cell lines. To target transgene expression in androgen-independent prostate cancer, we designed a prostate-specific promoter that is activated by the retinoids-retinoid receptor complex instead of the androgen-AR complex. The modified rPB promoters expressed transgenes in response to retinoid in both androgen-dependent and androgen-independent prostate cancer cells and not in other cancer cell lines or in human normal cells, in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, the combination of retinoid treatment and adenovirus-mediated gene transfer of the modified rPB-driven HSV-tk gene resulted in a significant growth suppression of the androgen-independent prostate cancer cells in the presence of the prodrug ganciclovir. This study suggests that tailoring of the hormone-responsive elements may offer a new therapeutic opportunity against the hormone-refractory stage of prostate cancer.
This article was published in Mol Ther
and referenced in Journal of Cancer Science & Therapy