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author:("Li, renyi")
1.  PI-3 kinase p110β: a therapeutic target in advanced prostate cancers 
Prostate cancers in the castration-resistant stage are life-threatening because they are not curable in clinic. The novel androgen receptor inhibitor Xandi (Enzalutamide) and the new CYP17 inhibitor Zytiga (Abiraterone) prolonged patient survival only a few months in advanced prostate cancers. Therefore, novel therapeutic agents for advanced prostate cancers are urgently needed. PI-3 kinases are major intracellular signaling molecules that regulate multiple signal pathways related to cellular metabolism, cytokinesis, growth and survival. Accumulating evidence in the literature indicates that some isoforms of this kinase family are oncogenic and abnormally expressed in various human cancers, including prostate cancers. Recent extensive studies from our group and others showed that PI-3 kinase p110β is aberrantly overexpressed in advanced prostate cancers and is critical for prostate cancer development and progression as demonstrated in cell-based and animal models. Importantly, novel p110β-specific inhibitors have been developed and are currently been testing in clinical trials. In this article, we will briefly summarize recent developments in this regard.
PMCID: PMC4219313  PMID: 25374921
Prostate cancer; p110β; cancer therapy; castration resistance
2.  Prodrug Strategy for PSMA-targeted Delivery of TGX-221 to Prostate Cancer Cells 
Molecular pharmaceutics  2012;9(6):1705-1716.
TGX-221 is a potent, selective, and cell membrane permeable inhibitor of the PI3K p110β catalytic subunit. Recent studies showed that TGX-221 has anti-proliferative activity against PTEN-deficient tumor cell lines including prostate cancers. The objective of this study was to develop an encapsulation system for parenterally delivering TGX-221 to the target tissue through a prostate-specific membrane aptamer (PSMAa10) with little or no side effects. In this study, PEG-PCL micelles were formulated to encapsulate the drug, and a prodrug strategy was pursued to improve the stability of the carrier system. Fluorescence imaging studies demonstrated that the cellular uptake of both drug and nanoparticles were significantly improved by targeted micelles in a PSMA positive cell line. The area under the plasma concentration time curve of the micelle formulation in nude mice was 2.27-fold greater than the naked drug, and the drug clearance rate was 17.5-fold slower. These findings suggest a novel formulation approach for improving site-specific drug delivery of a molecular-targeted prostate cancer treatment.
doi:10.1021/mp3000309
PMCID: PMC3601665  PMID: 22494444
PEG-PCL micelle; TGX-221; PSMA; target delivery
3.  Prostate-targeted biodegradable nanoparticles loaded with androgen receptor silencing constructs eradicate xenograft tumors in mice 
Nanomedicine (London, England)  2012;7(9):1297-1309.
Background
Prostate cancer is the major cause of cancer death in men and the androgen receptor (AR) has been shown to play a critical role in the progression of the disease. Our previous reports showed that knocking down the expression of the AR gene using a siRNA-based approach in prostate cancer cells led to apoptotic cell death and xenograft tumor eradication. In this study, we utilized a biodegradable nanoparticle to deliver the therapeutic AR shRNA construct specifically to prostate cancer cells.
Materials & methods
The biodegradable nanoparticles were fabricated using a poly(dl-lactic-co-glycolic acid) polymer and the AR shRNA constructs were loaded inside the particles. The surface of the nanoparticles were then conjugated with prostate-specific membrane antigen aptamer A10 for prostate cancer cell-specific targeting.
Results
A10-conjugation largely enhanced cellular uptake of nanoparticles in both cell culture- and xenograft-based models. The efficacy of AR shRNA encapsulated in nanoparticles on AR gene silencing was confirmed in PC-3/AR-derived xenografts in nude mice. The therapeutic property of A10-conjugated AR shRNA-loaded nanoparticles was evaluated in xenograft models with different prostate cancer cell lines: 22RV1, LAPC-4 and LNCaP. Upon two injections of the AR shRNA-loaded nanoparticles, rapid tumor regression was observed over 2 weeks. Consistent with previous reports, A10 aptamer conjugation significantly enhanced xenograft tumor regression compared with nonconjugated nanoparticles.
Discussion
These data demonstrated that tissue-specific delivery of AR shRNA using a biodegradable nanoparticle approach represents a novel therapy for life-threatening prostate cancers.
doi:10.2217/nnm.12.14
PMCID: PMC3448843  PMID: 22583574
androgen receptor; aptamer; nanoparticle; prostate cancer; prostate-specific membrane antigen; siRNA
4.  G-protein alpha-s and -12 subunits are involved in androgen-stimulated PI3K activation and androgen receptor transactivation in prostate cancer cells 
The Prostate  2011;71(12):1276-1286.
BACKGROUND
The androgen receptor (AR) is a ligand-dependent transcription factor that mediates androgenic hormone action in cells. We recently demonstrated the involvement of phosphoinositide 3-OH kinase (PI3K) p110beta in AR transactivation and gene expression. In this study, we determined the upstream signals that lead to PI3K/p110beta activation and AR transactivation after androgen stimulation.
METHODS
Human prostate cancer LAPC-4 and 22Rv1 cell lines were used for the experiments. AR transactivation was assessed using an androgen responsive element-driven luciferase (ARE-LUC) assay. Cell proliferation was examined using BrdU incorporation and MTT assays. Target genes were silenced using small interfering RNA (siRNA) approach. Gene expression was evaluated at the mRNA level (real-time RT-PCR) and protein level (Western blot). PI3K kinase activities were measured using immunoprecipitation-based in vitro kinase assay. The AR-DNA binding activity was determined using Chromatin-immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay.
RESULTS
First, at the cellular plasma membrane, disrupting the integrity of caveolae microdomain with methyl-β- cyclodextrin (M-β-CD) abolished androgen-induced AR transactivation and gene expression. Then, knocking down caveolae structural proteins caveolin-1 or -2 with the gene-specific siRNAs significantly reduced androgen-induced AR transactivation. Next, silencing Gαs and Gα12 genes but not other G-proteins blocked androgen-induced AR transactivation and cell proliferation. Consistently, overexpression of Gαs or Gα12 active mutants enhanced androgen-induced AR transactivation, of which Gαs active mutant sensitized the AR to castration-level of androgen (R1881). Most interestingly, knocking down Gαs but not Gα12 subunit significantly suppressed androgen-stimulated PI3K p110beta activation. However, chromatin-immunoprecipitation (ChIP) analysis revealed that both Gαs or Gα12 subunits are involved in androgen-induced AR interaction with the AR target gene PSA promoter region.
CONCLUSION
These data suggest that caveolae-associated G-protein alpha subunits are involved in AR transactivation by modulating the activities of different PI3K isoforms.
doi:10.1002/pros.21345
PMCID: PMC3143312  PMID: 21308712
prostate cancer; caveolae; androgen receptor; G-protein
5.  Development of a peptide-drug conjugate for prostate cancer therapy 
Molecular pharmaceutics  2011;8(3):901-912.
TGX-221 is a highly potent phosphoinositide 3-kinases β (PI3Kβ) inhibitor that holds great promise as a novel chemotherapeutic agent to treat prostate cancer. However, poor solubility and lack of targetability limit its therapeutic applications. The objective of this present study is to develop a peptide-drug conjugate to specifically deliver TGX-221 to HER2 over-expressing prostate cancer cells. Four TGX-221 derivatives with added hydroxyl groups were synthesized for peptide conjugation. Among them, TGX-D1 exhibited a similar bioactivity to TGX-221, and it was selected for conjugation with a peptide promoiety containing a HER2-targeting ligand and a prostate specific antigen (PSA) substrate linkage. From this selection, the peptide-drug conjugate was proven to be gradually cleaved by PSA to release TGX-D1. Cellular uptake of the peptide-drug conjugate was significantly higher in prostate cancer cells compared to the parent drug. Moreover, both the peptide-drug conjugate and its cleaved products demonstrated comparable activities as the parent drug TGX-D1. Our results suggest that this peptide-drug conjugate may provide a promising chemotherapy for prostate cancer patients.
doi:10.1021/mp200007b
PMCID: PMC3163154  PMID: 21510670
TGX-221; prostate cancer; prodrug; peptide ligand; HER2; PSA
6.  Association of Testosterone and Sex Hormone–Binding Globulin With Metabolic Syndrome and Insulin Resistance in Men 
Diabetes Care  2010;33(7):1618-1624.
OBJECTIVE
We sought to assess the associations of testosterones and sex hormone–binding globulin (SHBG) with metabolic syndrome and insulin resistance in men.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
We defined metabolic syndrome according to the National Cholesterol Education Program Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults. Among men aged ≥20 years who participated in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (n = 1,226), the Cox proportional hazards model was used to estimate the prevalence ratio and 95% CI of metabolic syndrome according to circulating concentrations of testosterones and SHBG.
RESULTS
After adjustment for age, race/ethnicity, smoking status, alcohol intake, physical activity level, LDL cholesterol, C-reactive protein, and insulin resistance, men in the first quartile (lowest) (prevalence ratio 2.16 [95% CI 1.53–3.06]) and second quartile of total testosterone (2.51 [1.86–3.37]) were more likely to have metabolic syndrome than men in the fourth quartile (highest, referent group) (P < 0.001 for linear trend). Similarly, men in the first quartile of SHBG (2.17 [1.32–3.56]) were more likely to have metabolic syndrome than men in the fourth quartile (P = 0.02 for linear trend). No significant associations of calculated free testosterone (P = 0.31 for linear trend) and bioavailable testosterone (P = 0.11 for linear trend) with metabolic syndrome were detected after adjustment for all possible confounders.
CONCLUSIONS
Low concentrations of total testosterone and SHBG were strongly associated with increased likelihood of having metabolic syndrome, independent of traditional cardiovascular risk factors and insulin resistance.
doi:10.2337/dc09-1788
PMCID: PMC2890370  PMID: 20368409
7.  Lupeol inhibits proliferation of human prostate cancer cells by targeting β-catenin signaling 
Carcinogenesis  2009;30(5):808-817.
Lupeol, a dietary triterpene, was shown to decrease serum prostate-specific antigen levels and inhibit the tumorigenicity of prostate cancer (CaP) cells in vivo. Here, we show that Lupeol inhibits the proliferative potential of CaP cells and delineated its mechanism of action. Employing a focused microarray of human CaP-associated genes, we found that Lupeol significantly modulates the expression level of genes such as ERBB2, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-3, cyclin D1 and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 that are known to be associated with proliferation and survival. A common feature of these genes is that all of them are known to either regulate or act as downstream target of β-catenin signaling that is highly aberrant in CaP patients. Lupeol treatment significantly (1) reduced levels of β-catenin in the cytoplasmic and nuclear fractions, (2) modulated expression levels of glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta (GSK3β)–axin complex (regulator of β-catenin stability), (3) decreased the expression level and enzymatic activity of MMP-2 (downstream target of β-catenin), (4) reduced the transcriptional activation of T Cell Factor (TCF) responsive element (marker for β-catenin signaling) in pTK-TCF-Luc-transfected cells and (5) decreased the transcriptional activation of MMP-2 gene in pGL2-MMP-2-Luc-transfected cells. Effects of Lupeol treatment on β-catenin degradation were significantly reduced in CaP cells where axin is knocked down through small interfering RNA transfection and GSK3β activity is blocked. Collectively, these data suggest the multitarget efficacy of Lupeol on β-catenin-signaling network thus resulting in the inhibition CaP cell proliferation. We suggest that Lupeol could be developed as an agent for chemoprevention as well as chemotherapy of human CaP.
doi:10.1093/carcin/bgp044
PMCID: PMC2722146  PMID: 19233958
8.  The calcimimetic R-568 induces apoptotic cell death in prostate cancer cells 
Background
Increased serum level of parathyroid hormone (PTH) was found in metastatic prostate cancers. Calcimimetic R-568 was reported to reduce PTH expression, to suppress cell proliferation and to induce apoptosis in parathyroid cells. In this study, we investigated the effect of R-568 on cellular survival of prostate cancer cells.
Methods
Prostate cancer cell lines LNCaP and PC-3 were used in this study. Cellular survival was determined with MTT, trypan blue exclusion and fluorescent Live/Death assays. Western blot assay was utilized to assess apoptotic events induced by R-568 treatment. JC-1 staining was used to evaluate mitochondrial membrane potential.
Results
In cultured prostate cancer LNCaP and PC-3 cells, R-568 treatment significantly reduced cellular survival in a dose- and time-dependent manner. R-568-induced cell death was an apoptotic event, as evidenced by caspase-3 processing and PARP cleavage, as well as JC-1 color change in mitochondria. Knocking down calcium sensing receptor (CaSR) significantly reduced R-568-induced cytotoxicity. Enforced expression of Bcl-xL gene abolished R-568-induced cell death, while loss of Bcl-xL expression led to increased cell death in R-568-treated LNCaP cells,.
Conclusion
Taken together, our data demonstrated that calcimimetic R-568 triggers an intrinsic mitochondria-related apoptotic pathway, which is dependent on the CaSR and is modulated by Bcl-xL anti-apoptotic pathway.
doi:10.1186/1756-9966-28-100
PMCID: PMC2716307  PMID: 19602280
9.  GPRC6A Null Mice Exhibit Osteopenia, Feminization and Metabolic Syndrome 
PLoS ONE  2008;3(12):e3858.
Background
GPRC6A is a widely expressed orphan G-protein coupled receptor that senses extracellular amino acids, osteocalcin and divalent cations in vitro. The physiological functions of GPRC6A are unknown.
Methods/Principal Findings
In this study, we created and characterized the phenotype of GPRC6A−/− mice. We observed complex metabolic abnormalities in GPRC6A−/− mice involving multiple organ systems that express GPRC6A, including bone, kidney, testes, and liver. GPRC6A−/− mice exhibited hepatic steatosis, hyperglycemia, glucose intolerance, and insulin resistance. In addition, we observed high expression of GPRC6A in Leydig cells in the testis. Ablation of GPRC6A resulted in feminization of male GPRC6A−/− mice in association with decreased lean body mass, increased fat mass, increased circulating levels of estradiol, and reduced levels of testosterone. GPRC6A was also highly expressed in kidney proximal and distal tubules, and GPRC6A−/− mice exhibited increments in urine Ca/Cr and PO4/Cr ratios as well as low molecular weight proteinuria. Finally, GPRC6A−/− mice exhibited a decrease in bone mineral density (BMD) in association with impaired mineralization of bone.
Conclusions/Significance
GPRC6A−/− mice have a metabolic syndrome characterized by defective osteoblast-mediated bone mineralization, abnormal renal handling of calcium and phosphorus, fatty liver, glucose intolerance and disordered steroidogenesis. These findings suggest the overall function of GPRC6A may be to coordinate the anabolic responses of multiple tissues through the sensing of extracellular amino acids, osteocalcin and divalent cations.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0003858
PMCID: PMC2585477  PMID: 19050760

Results 1-9 (9)