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Mol Cancer Ther. 2009 Mar;8(3):665-71. doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-08-0823. Epub 2009 Feb 24.

Interleukin-6 increases prostate cancer cells resistance to bicalutamide via TIF2.

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Department of Urology and Cancer Center, University of California at Davis Medical Center Research III, Suite 1300, 4645 2nd Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95817, USA.


The standard treatment for advanced, androgen-responsive prostate cancer is androgen deprivation therapy with or without a nonsteroidal antiandrogen, such as bicalutamide. Although maximal androgen blockade exhibits favorable responses in the majority of patients, prostate cancer eventually progresses to an androgen-refractory stage. The mechanism underlying bicalutamide resistance in the course of prostate cancer progression is incompletely understood. However, interleukin-6 (IL-6) plays a critical role in the development and progression of CRPC. Herein, we explored an association between IL-6 and bicalutamide resistance. To study this, series of lower and higher passages of LNCaP cell sublines generated by long-term exposure to IL-6 were used. The cells from higher passages of LNCaP treated with IL-6 developed resistance to bicalutamide treatment compared with parental LNCaP cells. The levels of transcriptional intermediary factor 2 (TIF2) in IL-6-treated LNCaP cells were found to be significantly higher than parental LNCaP cells. Down-regulation of TIF2 expression via short hairpin RNA in IL-6-treated LNCaP cells sensitized these cells to bicalutamide treatment, whereas overexpression of TIF2 in the parental LNCaP cells increased resistance to bicalutamide. Furthermore, overexpression of IL-6 attenuated bicalutamide-mediated blockage of androgen-induced androgen receptor nuclear translocation and recruitment. These results show that overexpression of IL-6 increases the resistance of prostate cancer cells to bicalutamide via TIF2. Overexpression of IL-6 not only plays an important role in prostate cancer progression but also contributes to bicalutamide resistance. Our studies suggest that bicalutamide-IL-6-targeted adjunctive therapy may lead to a more effective intervention than bicalutamide alone.

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