WL-276, an antagonist against Bcl-2 proteins, overcomes drug resistance and suppresses prostate tumor growth

Liangyou Wang, Daniel T. Sloper, Sadiya N. Addo, Defeng Tian, Joel W. Slaton, Chengguo Xing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Patients with hormone-refractory prostate cancer (HRPC) have an estimated median survival of only 10 months because of acquired drug resistance,ur ging the need to develop therapies against the drug-resistant HRPC phenotype. Accumulating evidence suggests that overexpressing antiapoptotic Bcl-2 family proteins is at least partially responsible for the development of drug resistance among HRPC patients. Antagonizing the antiapoptotic Bcl-2 family proteins,therefor e, is one potential approach to circumventing drug resistance in HRPC. WL-276 was developed as a small-molecule antagonist against antiapoptotic Bcl-2 family proteins, with binding potency comparable to (-)-gossypol. Overexpressing Bcl-2 or Bcl-XL failed to confer resistance to WL-276. WL-276 also effectively induced apoptosis in PC-3 cells. In addition, three PC-3 cell lines with acquired drug resistance against standard cancer chemotherapies were more sensitive to WL-276 than the parent PC-3 cell line. The increased cytotoxicity toward drug-resistant PC-3 cells shows the clinical potential of WL-276 against HRPC that is resistant to conventional therapies. The anticancer activity of WL-276 was manifested in its suppression of PC-3-induced prostate tumor growth in vivo. The selective toxicity of WL-276 against drug-resistant PC-3 cells and its in vivo suppression of PC-3 prostate tumor growth suggest that WL-276 is a promising lead candidate for the development of Bcl-2 antagonists against drug-resistant HRPC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4377-4383
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 2008


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