Lupeol, a novel androgen receptor inhibitor: Implications in prostate cancer therapy

Hifzur Rahman Siddique, Shrawan K Mishra, R. Jeffery Karnes, Mohammad Saleem Bhat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


Purpose: Conventional therapies to treat prostate cancer (CaP) of androgen-dependent phenotype (ADPC) and castration-resistant phenotype (CRPC) are deficient in outcome which has necessitated a need to identify those agents that could target AR for both disease types. We provide mechanism-based evidence that lupeol (Lup-20(29)-en-3b-ol) is a potent inhibitor of androgen receptor (AR) in vitro and in vivo. Experimental Design: Normal prostate epithelial cell (RWPE-1), LAPC4 (wild functional AR/ADPC), LNCaP (mutant functional/AR/ADPC), and C4-2b (mutant functional/AR/CRPC) cells were used to test the anti-AR activity of lupeol. Cells grown under androgen-rich environment and treated with lupeol were tested for proliferation, AR transcriptional activity, AR competitive ligand binding, AR-DNA binding, and AR-ARE/target gene binding. Furthermore, in silico molecular modeling for lupeol-AR binding was done. Athymic mice bearing C4-2b and LNCaP cell-originated tumors were treated intraperitoneally with lupeol (40 mg/kg; 3 times/wk) and tumor growth and surrogate biomarkers were evaluated. To assess bioavailability, lupeol serum levels were measured. Results: Lupeol significantly inhibited R1881 (androgen analogue) induced (i) transcriptional activity of AR and (ii) expression of PSA. Lupeol (i) competed antagonistically with androgen for AR, (ii) blocked the binding of AR to AR-responsive genes including PSA, TIPARP, SGK, and IL-6, and (iii) inhibited the recruitment ofRNAPol II to target genes. Lupeol sensitizedCRPC cells to antihormone therapy. High-performance liquid chromatography analysis showed that lupeol is bioavailable to mice. Lupeol inhibited the tumorigenicity of both ADPC and CRPC cells in animals. Serum and tumor tissues exhibited reduced PSA levels. Conclusion: Lupeol, an effective AR inhibitor, could be developed as a potential agent to treat human CaP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5379-5391
Number of pages13
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 15 2011


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