Differential proteome expression analysis of androgen-dependent and -independent pathways in LNCaP prostate cancer cells

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Prostate cancer (PC) is one of the leading causes of cancer death in men. It commonly develops in older males, but the number of younger men diagnosed with the disease has increased in recent years. Hormone therapies, such as chemical and surgical methods that inhibit androgen synthesis or androgen receptor (AR) activation, have been used for advanced disease. However, castration-resistant PC (CRPC), which exhibits androgen-independent mechanisms for activating AR, develops after a few years of such treatment and no therapy is available. In this study, we examined differences in the proteomes associated with the androgen-dependent (DHT treatment) and -independent (FSK, forskolin treatment) AR signaling conditions in LNCaP prostate cancer cells. Moreover, we used EPI-001, which inhibits AR-mediated transcriptional activity, to examine whether the observed differences in protein expression were directly affected by AR-mediated mechanisms. A total of 213 protein spots were matched in our 2-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2DE) analysis and 8 proteins with significant expression changes in our 5 different treatment groups were identified by mass spectrometry. Among these proteins, expression levels of PEPCK-M, catalase, tubulin alpha chain, alpha-enolase, and endoplasmic reticulum resident protein 29 were significantly altered by DHT and the levels of HSP 90 and EF-Tu were changed by FSK. These changes were blocked by EPI-001 in DHT-regulated proteins, PEPCK-M, catalase, and tubulin alpha chain and FSK-regulated EF-Tu protein. The results from our immunohistochemical analysis using in vivo xenograft models were consistent with the 2DE data. We therefore report the first identification of differences in proteins that are significantly regulated under androgen-dependent and -independent AR signaling conditions. Our findings could suggest a possible molecular mechanism through which AR is activated in the absence and/or presence of androgen, and might help explain the inhibitory action of EPI-001 on CRPC.

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