Theaflavin-3,3′-digallate and penta-O-galloyl-β-D-glucose inhibit rat liver microsomal 5α-reductase activity and the expression of androgen receptor in LNCaP prostate cancer cells

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Androgens play a critical role in regulating the growth, differentiation and survival of epithelial cells in many androgen-responsive organs, such as prostate and skin. The enzyme steroid 5α-reductase (EC catalyzes the conversion of testosterone (T) to a more active androgen, dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT then binds to androgen receptors (AR) and functions in the nucleus to regulate specific gene expression. Androgens via their cognate receptor may be involved in the development and progression of benign prostate hyperplasia, prostate cancer, hirsutism, male pattern alopecia and acne. The aim of this study was to determine whether theaflavin-3,3′-digallate (TF3) and penta-O-galloyl-β-D-glucose (5GG) have inhibitory effects on androgen production and action. We found that TF3 and 5GG inhibit rat liver microsomal 5α-reductase activity. Furthermore, TF3 and 5GG significantly reduced androgen-responsive LNCaP prostate cancer cell growth, suppressed expression of the AR and lowered androgen-induced prostate-specific antigen secretion and fatty acid synthase protein level. In conclusion, our result suggests that TF3 and 5GG might be useful chemoprevention agents for prostate cancer through suppressing the function of androgen and its receptor.

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