Radioresistance markedly impairs the efficacy of tumor radiotherapy and involves antiapoptotic signal transduction pathways that prevent radiation-induced cell death. The majority of human prostate cancers overexpress the important antiapoptotic proteins Bcl-2 and/or Bcl-xL, which render tumors resistant to radiation therapy. (-)-Gossypol, a natural polyphenol product from cottonseed, has recently been identified as a potent small molecule inhibitor of both Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL. In the current study, we investigated the antitumor activity of (-)-gossypol in prostate cancer and tested our hypothesis that (-)-gossypol may improve prostate cancer's response to radiation by potentiating radiation-induced apoptosis and thus making cancer cells more sensitive to ionizing radiation. Our data show that (-)-gossypol potently enhanced radiation-induced apoptosis and growth inhibition of human prostate cancer PC-3 cells, which have a high level of Bcl-2/Bcl-xL proteins. Our in vivo studies using PC-3 xenograft models in nude mice show that orally given (-)-gossypol significantly enhanced the antitumor activity of X-ray irradiation, leading to tumor regression in the combination therapy. In situ terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase - mediated nick end labeling staining showed that significantly more apoptotic cells were induced in the tumors treated with (-)-gossypol plus radiation than either treatment alone. Anti-CD31 immunohistochemical staining indicates that (-)-gossypol plus radiation significantly inhibited tumor angiogenesis. Our results show that the natural polyphenol inhibitor of Bcl-2/Bcl-xL, (-)-gossypol, can radiosensitize prostate cancer in vitro and in vivo without augmenting toxicity. (-)-Gossypol may improve the outcome of current prostate cancer radiotherapy and represents a promising novel anticancer regime for molecular targeted therapy of hormone-refractory prostate cancer with Bcl-2/Bcl-xL overexpression.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Molecular cancer therapeutics|
|State||Published - Feb 2005|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research