Castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) expresses high levels of the antiapoptotic proteins Bcl-2, Bcl-xL and Mcl-1, resulting in resistance to apoptosis and association with poor prognosis. Docetaxel, an antimitotic drug that is the first-line treatment strategy for CRPC, is known to provide a small survival benefit. However, docetaxel chemotherapy alone is not enough to counteract the high levels of Bcl-2/Bcl-xL/Mcl-1 present in CRPC. ABT-737 is a small molecule that binds to Bcl-2/Bcl-xL (but not Mcl-1) with high affinity and disrupts their interaction with pro-apoptotic Bax/Bak, thus enhancing apoptosis. Our results indicate that ABT-737 can sensitize androgen-dependent LNCaP and CRPC PC3 cells to docetaxel- and to the novel antimitotic ENMD-1198-mediated caspase-dependent apoptosis. CRPC DU145 cells, however, are more resistant to ABT-737 because they are Bax null and not because they express the highest levels of anti-apoptoticMcl-1 (associated with ABT-737 resistance). Knockdown of Bax or Bak in LNCaP indicates that ABT-737- induced antimitotic enhancement of apoptosis is more dependent on the levels of Bax than Bak. Furthermore, we find that the ability of docetaxel to increase cyclin B1/Cdk1-mediated phosphorylation of Bcl-2/Bcl-xL and decreaseMcl-1 is required for ABT-737 to enhance apoptosis in PC3 cells, as determined by addition of Cdk1 inhibitor purvalanol A and expression of shRNA specific for cyclin B1. Overall, our data suggests that the high levels of anti-apoptotic proteins in Bax-expressing CRPC cells can be overcome by targeting Bcl-2/Bcl-xL with ABT-737 andMcl-1 with antimitotics.
- Bcl-2 family
- Cyclin B1/Cdk1
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)