Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Propolis May Help Treat Prostate Cancer

Ethanolic extract of Algerian propolis decreases androgen receptor transcriptional activity in cultured LNCaP cells

J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2019 Mar 1. pii: S0960-0760(19)30084-6

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Antiandrogens have a peculiar place in the treatment of metastatic prostate cancer by blocking the androgen receptor (AR). Unfortunately, aggressive tumors could rapidly develop into a castration resistant state. It is therefore essential to look for new molecules that are more effective, affecting not only the androgen signaling and with minimum undesirable effects.

Natural products are an interesting source of new therapeutics, especially for cancer therapy as 70% of them have botanical origin. Based on an ethnobotany screening, we evaluated the effects of ethanolic extract of propolis (EEP) from Algeria on LNCaP cells. Results pointed out that EEP reduces the survival of LNCaP cells with an IC50 of 0.04 mg/ml, induces the apoptosis and blocks the cell cycle at G0/G1 phase.

Interestingly, EEP decreased the accumulation of AR suggesting some anti-androgen activity. Indeed, secreted amount of the androgen target protein PSA was decreased when LNCaP cells were incubated with EEP, starting after 4 h of treatment. This anti-androgen activity was also shown on the androgen target genes Fkbp5 and Sgk1.

Finally, the capacity of EEP to block AR functioning was demonstrated in transient transfections with human AR and the reporter gene ARE-tk-Luc. Propolis antagonizes the induction of the luciferase activity induced by the natural androgen DHT (10-8M) or the synthetic AR agonist R1881 (10-7M). Altogether, these results highlight the potential pharmacological effects of EEP in future treatments of prostate cancer.

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