Enzalutamide as an androgen receptor inhibitor prevents urothelial tumorigenesis

Emerging preclinical evidence suggests the critical role of androgen-mediated androgen receptor (AR) signals in the development of bladder cancer. However, little is known about the efficacy of enzalutamide, an AR signaling inhibitor, in androgen-induced urothelial tumorigenesis. We therefore aimed to assess the effects of enzalutamide on neoplastic transformation of urothelial cells. An immortalized normal urothelial cell line SVHUC stably expressing wild-type AR (SVHUC-AR) was exposed to a chemical carcinogen 3-methylcholanthrene (MCA) to induce neoplastic transformation, and subsequently cultured for 6 weeks in the presence of anti-androgens, including enzalutamide, hydroxyflutamide, and bicalutamide. Tumorigenesis was then monitored, using plate and soft agar colony formation assays as well as mouse xenograft models. In SVHUC-AR cells exposed to MCA, each anti-androgen inhibited AR-mediated transcriptional activity, but only enzalutamide prevented AR nuclear translocation. In vitro transformation showed that treatment with each anti-androgen during the process of neoplastic transformation reduced the efficiency of colony formation in vitro. Compared with mock treatment, culture with enzalutamide (P = 0.028), hydroxyflutamide (P = 0.033), or bicalutamide (P = 0.038) also resulted in prevention/retardation of tumor formation in male NOD-SCID mice. In addition, anti-androgens up-regulated the expression of several molecules that play a protective role in bladder tumorigenesis, including p53, p21, and PTEN, and down-regulated that of several oncogenic genes, such as c-myc, cyclin D1, and cyclin E, in MCA-exposed SVHUC-AR cells. Thus, enzalutamide, flutamide, and bicalutamide were found to similarly prevent neoplastic transformation of urothelial cells. These findings offer a potential chemopreventive approach for urothelial tumors using AR antagonists.

American journal of cancer research. 2017 Oct 01*** epublish ***

Takashi Kawahara, Satoshi Inoue, Eiji Kashiwagi, Jinbo Chen, Hiroki Ide, Taichi Mizushima, Yi Li, Yichun Zheng, Hiroshi Miyamoto

Department of Pathology, Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimore, MD, USA., Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, University of Rochester Medical CenterRochester, NY, USA.