Anti-androgenic effect of astaxanthin in LNCaP cells is mediated through the aryl hydrocarbon-androgen receptors cross talk.
J Food Biochem. 2021 Mar 10:e13702. Epub 2021 Mar 10. PMID: 33694182
The aim of this study was to investigate the anti-androgenic effects of astaxanthin (AST) on human prostatic cancer cell growth, and its impact on androgen receptor (AR) signaling using prostate cancer (PCa) cell line LNCaP. LNCaP cells were treated with AST alone and in combination with CH223191 and flutamide (Flu) in the presence and absence of testosterone. MTT assay, cellular prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) production, mRNA levels of CYP1A1, PSA, Kallikrein-Related Peptidase 2 (KLK2), Transmembrane Serine Protease 2 (TMPRSS2), and AR genes were measured as endpoints. The expression of CYP1A1, PSA, KLK2, TMPRSS2, and AR mRNA levels was decreased which results in reducing the production of PSA and DHT in the presence of testosterone. Our data clearly demonstrate that AST has a potential ability to suppress the human prostate LNCaP cells growth at high concentrations. AST was able to repress the testosterone-induced transcription of AR-target genes. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: Astaxanthin is a natural compound with the most potent antioxidant activity among other antioxidants. In the current study, ASX suppressed the LNCaP cells at high concentrations. Furthermore, AST inhibited testosterone-induced transcriptional activation of androgen-related genes. AST induced the expression of CYP1A1, which is able to metabolize the steroid hormones. It seems that AST can act as AhR exogenous ligand by induction of CYP1A1, which results in testosterone metabolism and consequent suppression of AR genes. So that, AST could prevent the growth of testosterone-dependent PCa cells, downregulate downstream genes in testosterone pathways, and enhance the metabolism of testosterone via AhR pathway. Collectively, AST could be considered as a potential candidate for the treatment of PCa.