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Cancer Res. 2006 Oct 15;66(20):10064-72.

Down-regulation of androgen receptor by 3,3'-diindolylmethane contributes to inhibition of cell proliferation and induction of apoptosis in both hormone-sensitive LNCaP and insensitive C4-2B prostate cancer cells.

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Departments of Pathology and Internal Medicine, Karmanos Cancer Institute, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan 48201, USA.


Despite the initial efficacy of androgen deprivation therapy, most patients with advanced prostate cancer eventually progress to hormone-refractory prostate cancer, for which there is no curative therapy. Previous studies from our laboratory and others have shown the antiproliferative and proapoptotic effects of 3,3'-diindolylmethane (DIM) in prostate cancer cells. However, the molecular mechanism of action of DIM has not been investigated in androgen receptor (AR)-positive hormone-responsive and -nonresponsive prostate cancer cells. Therefore, we investigated the effects of B-DIM, a formulated DIM with greater bioavailability, on AR, Akt, and nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB) signaling in hormone-sensitive LNCaP (AR+) and hormone-insensitive C4-2B (AR+) prostate cancer cells. We found that B-DIM significantly inhibited cell proliferation and induced apoptosis in both cell lines. By Akt gene transfection, reverse transcription-PCR, Western blot analysis, and electrophoretic mobility shift assay, we found a potential crosstalk between Akt, NF-kappaB, and AR. Importantly, B-DIM significantly inhibited Akt activation, NF-kappaB DNA binding activity, AR phosphorylation, and the expressions of AR and prostate-specific antigen, suggesting that B-DIM could interrupt the crosstalk. Confocal studies revealed that B-DIM inhibited AR nuclear translocation, leading to the down-regulation of AR target genes. Moreover, B-DIM significantly inhibited C4-2B cell growth in a severe combined immunodeficiency-human model of experimental prostate cancer bone metastasis. These results suggest that B-DIM-induced cell proliferation inhibition and apoptosis induction are partly mediated through the down-regulation of AR, Akt, and NF-kappaB signaling. These observations provide a rationale for devising novel therapeutic approaches for the treatment of hormone-sensitive, but more importantly, hormone-refractory prostate cancer by using B-DIM alone or in combination with other therapeutics.

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