Prostate cancer (PC) is the most common disease in men over age 50, and its prevalence rate has been gradually increasing since 1980. Taxane-derived anticancer agents are the primary agents used to treat metastatic prostate cancer patients; however, the side effects and acquired drug resistance limit the success of these therapies. Because there is no specific treatment for paclitaxel-resistant prostate cancer, it is necessary to develop new targets and therapeutic strategies to overcome the acquired resistance. In this study, the antitumor activity of a novel selenonucleoside (4′-selenofuranosyl-2,6-dichloropurine, LJ-2618), a third-generation nucleoside, and its plausible mechanisms of action in paclitaxel-resistant prostate cancer (PC-3-Pa) cells were investigated. The established PC-3-Pa cells exhibited over 100-fold resistance against paclitaxel compared to the paclitaxel-sensitive PC-3 cells. LJ-2618, however, effectively inhibited the proliferation of both cell lines with similar IC50 values in vitro. In PC-3-Pa cells, the activated PI3K/Akt signaling pathway was suppressed by LJ-2618 treatment. In addition, Skp2 was found to be over-expressed in paclitaxel-resistant cells, and the transfection of Skp2 siRNA recovered the sensitivity of paclitaxel in PC-3-Pa cells. Furthermore, LJ-2618 significantly down-regulated Skp2 expression in PC-3-Pa cells by promoting degradation and inducing destabilization of Skp2, which triggers G2/M cell cycle arrest. In a xenograft mouse model implanted with PC-3-Pa cells, LJ-2618 (3 or 10 mg/kg) effectively inhibited tumor growth with the enhancement of Skp2 degradation and induction of p27 expression in tumor tissues. These findings suggest that LJ-2618 may have potential for overcoming paclitaxel resistance via promoting Skp2 degradation and stabilizing p27 expression in PC-3-Pa cells. Therefore, the novel selenonucleoside LJ-2618 may lead to the development of a new treatment strategy for patients with paclitaxel-resistant, castration-resistant prostate cancer.
- A novel selenonucleoside LJ-2618
- G/M cell cycle
- Paclitaxel-resistant prostate cancer