Combination of Arsenic trioxide and Everolimus (Rad001) synergistically induces both autophagy and apoptosis in prostate cancer cells.

The inhibitor of PI3K-AKT-mTOR pathway, such as Rad001, has not shown therapeutic efficacy as a single agent in prostate cancer. Arsenic trioxide induces the autophagic pathway in prostate cancer cells. We identified Arsenic trioxide can synergize with Rad001 to induce cytotoxicity of prostate cancer cells. Moreover, we identified synergistic induction of autophagy and apoptosis as the underlying mechanism. This enhanced autophagic cell death is accompanied by increased Beclin1 mRNA stability as well as upregulation of ATG5-ATG12 conjugate, Beclin1, and LC3-2. Rad001 and ATO also can synergistically inhibit tumors in prostate cancer xenograft animal model. These results identify and validate a novel mechanism to enhance and expand the existing targeted therapeutic agent to treat prostate cancer.

Oncotarget. 2017 Jan 04 [Epub ahead of print]

Sheng Tai, Lingfan Xu, Ming Xu, Ligang Zhang, Yangyang Zhang, Kaipin Zhang, Li Zhang, Chaozhao Liang

The Department of Urology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Anhui Medical University, China.

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