Estrogen receptor-beta activated apoptosis in benign hyperplasia and cancer of the prostate is androgen independent and TNFalpha mediated

Stephen John McPherson, Shirin Hussain, Preetika Balanathan, Shelley Lee Hedwards, Birunthi Niranjan, Michael Grant, Upeksha Priyadarshani Chandrasiri, Roxanne Toivanen, Yuzhuo Wang, Renea Anne Taylor, Gail Petuna Risbridger

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144 Citations (Scopus)


Prostate cancer (PCa) and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) are androgen-dependent diseases commonly treated by inhibiting androgen action. However, androgen ablation or castration fail to target androgen-independent cells implicated in disease etiology and recurrence. Mechanistically different to castration, this study shows beneficial proapoptotic actions of estrogen receptor-beta (ERbeta) in BPH and PCa. ERbeta agonist induces apoptosis in prostatic stromal, luminal and castrate-resistant basal epithelial cells of estrogen-deficient aromatase knock-out mice. This occurs via extrinsic (caspase-8) pathways, without reducing serum hormones, and perturbs the regenerative capacity of the epithelium. TNFalpha knock-out mice fail to respond to ERbeta agonist, demonstrating the requirement for TNFalpha signaling. In human tissues, ERbeta agonist induces apoptosis in stroma and epithelium of xenografted BPH specimens, including in the CD133(+) enriched putative stem/progenitor cells isolated from BPH-1 cells in vitro. In PCa, ERbeta causes apoptosis in Gleason Grade 7 xenografted tissues and androgen-independent cells lines (PC3 and DU145) via caspase-8. These data provide evidence of the beneficial effects of ERbeta agonist on epithelium and stroma of BPH, as well as androgen-independent tumor cells implicated in recurrent disease. Our data are indicative of the therapeutic potential of ERbeta agonist for treatment of PCa and/or BPH with or without androgen withdrawal.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3123 - 3128
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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