SOD mimetics: A novel class of androgen receptor inhibitors that suppresses castration-resistant growth of prostate cancer

Rusha Thomas, Nima Sharifi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Advanced prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths among American men. The androgen receptor (AR) is vital for prostate cancer progression, even in the face of castrate levels of serum testosterone following androgen ablation therapy, a mainstay therapy for advanced prostate cancer. Downregulation of superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2), a major intracellular antioxidant enzyme, occurs progressively during prostate cancer progression to advanced states and is known to promote AR activity in prostate cancer. Therefore, this study investigated the effects ofSODmimetics onARexpression and function in AR-dependent LNCaP, CWR22Rv1, and LAPC-4AD prostate cancer cells. Treatment with Tempol (4-hydroxy-2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine- N-oxyl), a SOD mimetic, not only lowered cellular superoxide levels but also concomitantly attenuatedARtranscriptional activity andARtarget gene expression in a dose- and time-dependent manner, in the presence and absence of dihydrotestosterone, the major endogenous AR agonist. Inhibition of AR by Tempol was mediated, in large part, by its ability to decrease AR protein via increased degradation, in the absence of any inhibitory effects on other nuclear receptors. Inhibitory effects of Tempol on AR were also reproducible with other SOD mimetics, MnTBAP and MnTMPyP. Importantly, effects of Tempol on AR function were accompanied by significant in vitro and in vivo reduction in castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) survival and growth. Collectively, this study has shown for the first time that SOD mimetics, by virtue of their ability to suppress AR function, may be beneficial in treating the currently incurable CRPC, in which SOD2 expression is highly suppressed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-97
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Cancer Therapeutics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'SOD mimetics: A novel class of androgen receptor inhibitors that suppresses castration-resistant growth of prostate cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this