Inhibition of Androgen Receptor Function and Level in Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer Cells by 2-[(isoxazol-4-ylmethyl)thio]-1-(4-phenylpiperazin-1-yl)ethanone
The androgen receptor (AR) plays a critical role in the development of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) as well as in the resistance to the second-generation AR antagonist enzalutamide and the selective inhibitor of cytochrome P450 17A1 (CYP17A1) abiraterone. Novel agents targeting AR may inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells resistant to enzalutamide and/or abiraterone. Through a high-throughput/high-content screening of a 220,000-member small molecule library, we have previously identified 2-[(isoxazol-4-ylmethyl)thio]-1-(4-phenylpiperazin-1-yl)ethanone (IMTPPE) (SID 3712502) as a novel small molecule capable of inhibiting AR transcriptional activity and protein level in C4-2 prostate cancer cells. In this study, we show that IMTPPE inhibits AR-target gene expression using real-time polymerase chain reaction, Western blot, and luciferase assays. IMTPPE inhibited proliferation of AR-positive, but not AR-negative, prostate cancer cells in culture. IMTPPE inhibited the transcriptional activity of a mutant AR lacking the ligand-binding domain (LBD), indicating that IMTPPE inhibition of AR is independent of the LBD. Furthermore, animal studies showed that IMTPPE inhibited the growth of 22Rv1 xenograft tumor, a model for enzalutamide-resistant prostate cancer. These findings suggest that IMTPPE is a potential lead compound for developing clinical candidates for the treatment of CRPC, including those resistant to enzalutamide.